Changing Careers – A Leap Of Faith

Introduction

At its most basic level, changing careers requires a leap of faith that your intention of changing careers, and then acting on that intention, will result in a better life. The majority of people contemplate changing careers at some point. There are many triggers can compel an individual to re-assess goals. One motivator is a commitment to doing work that has both meaning and enjoyment.

The Process

Changing careers has a unique group of challenges and hurdles. At the top of the challenge list is helping others around you accept the premise that you are meant to be something other than you presently are. The spouse who feels safe in the comfort zone of steady cash-flow may resist the idea of “starting over”.

Likewise, the prospective employer must be convinced that you have every intention of staying the course, should you be the chosen candidate for the job. Transferable skill-sets are critical in changing careers. Employers will give weight to prior work experience, given that you have skill-sets that are complementary to the requirements of the open position. Simply put, how will your existing skills be transferable to your new career objectives?

One huge advantage anyone has in changing careers is that it’s expected. Employers don’t think twice about a job seeker looking to transfer skill-sets. But it wasn’t always so.

The concept of changing careers one or more times in one’s lifetime is a relatively new sociological phenomenon. Up to the 1970s the career model was to get landed with a company, work one’s way up through the ranks by virtue of promotions and retire with a secure pension. Changing careers was not even on the radar screen for most professionals.

Demographic shift, outsourcing, downsizing, and mutual reduction of loyalty between company and worker have changed all that. Loyalty to the company was the mantra, with an expectation that loyalty would be valued by the company.

How many careers have you had to date? One? Two or more? Americans now change careers an average of three times in their life. A critical factor in career change is to figure out what pushes your buttons. Consider your motivations in work and how you get enjoyment from your job. Example: Money may be your primary motivator. Or perhaps flex-time is at the top of your list. Figure out your motivations-and career choices will become apparent.

Entrepreneurship isn’t normally considered a career change, but it is. If for any reason you have decided to leave your full-time or part-time position to start your own business, then you are indeed changing careers.

You may be branching off from your current occupation, or a side gig has turned into a full-time opportunity. One study found that people who change careers to work for themselves feel more secure in their self-employment than those who work for others.

Seasoned adults will take a leap of faith to return to school, if they have a high enough belief level that additional education will give them a critical edge. And sometimes people will go back to school as a tool to figure out what line of new work will be satisfying,

Pitfalls

Do not switch careers because of outside pressure to land a better job. You may end up resenting the person who suggested making the switch.

Don’t confuse distaste for a current position within a career field with disliking the overall career field. Dispassionately evaluate employer, job, and current career field. Whatever you decide, work up a game-plan for gaining that new career.

And do your “due diligence”. Don’t jump into a new field until you research all options. Investigate unconsidered fields. Network with professionals, and study career profiles. Consider working with a career counselor or life coach. If it’s been a while since you were last on the job market, take the time to polish your job-search skills, techniques, and tools.

Do not change careers just to try emulating others success. It’s a trap, comparing another person’s success to our life. And it makes for a huge negative motivator, sure to come back to haunt you. Your neighbor or friend may be happy and successful in his career, but that doesn’t mean you can replicate that success for yourself.

Conclusion

Changing careers can be both exciting and frightening. It is a major decision. Look before you leap. Avoid common mistakes as you move from one field into the next. Once you have become comfortable in a career, the thought of changing careers seem overwhelming.

These thoughts are often accompanied by the possibility of accepting new work at a lower level of pay-a huge disincentive to make a change. It takes a leap of faith to overcome such powerful negative motivators.

College Grads Can Frustrate Employers

Employers will always be on the lookout for college seniors and recent grads they think will contribute to the success of their organizations. As you might expect, organizations need people who can get things done, make things better, advance within their organizations and help the organization grow and become more profitable.

However, many organizations are frequently frustrated and disappointed with the students they hire.

Performance issues that frustrate employers:

1. Work Attitude – Employers have high hopes for their new hires. They hope that they have hired students with the right attitude. The most successful organizations seek students with a “Can do! ” “How can I help? ” “Let’s give it a try” attitude. However, sometimes organizations get complainers, prima donnas and poor attitudes.

These misguided individuals expect everyone else to adjust to them. They resist doing anything that is inconvenient, uncomfortable or difficult for them. When employees fail to act in the best interests of their employer, they are being disloyal and hurt everyone.

2. Communication Skills – Too many students today graduate from college without the communication skills that are needed to succeed in the world of work. They use slang, abbreviations, improper punctuation, spell poorly and have a limited vocabulary. When employees can’t speak and write properly, they loose credibility with executives, peers, subordinates, customers and suppliers.

3. Respect – Respect, good manners and business etiquette are all part of becoming successful after college. Unfortunately, many recent grads annoy and offend executives, other employees, customers and suppliers when they fail to demonstrate proper social and business etiquette.

4. Honesty – When an employee lies about something or hides a mistake, it usually makes things worse and adversely affects others. Employers far and away prefer employees who tell the truth and recognize and admit mistakes, so they can be fixed or minimized. When the fix is delayed, time, money and manpower are sure to be wasted. That’s not something that impresses an employer.

5. Accountability – Employees who are willing to be held accountable for their performance and the results they achieve have a far greater chance for success than someone who shirks responsibility, makes excuses and blames others for performance problems. Employers want stand-up employees who can lead and perform their way through the problems and challenges that always pop up.

6. Games/Politics – In an effort to make themselves look good, some employees play games that hurt others. They use their political skills to turn influential people against their own competitors and enemies. To gain power, they side with those in power, play up to them and try to use their power and position to intimidate others. The best employers know that teamwork and cooperation will always yield the best results, not games and politics.

7. Decision Making – Some recent grads lack the willingness or ability to make everyday work decisions. They always wait for their supervisor to make the decision or defer to someone else. They think that they can’t get into any trouble that way.

However, good employers count on hiring college grads who can find the information they need and use it to make the best decisions and get things done. When employees lack or fail to use good decision making skills, the employer will suffer. Accepting responsibility means making decisions, decisions that other will judged by others.

All of these employee problems are anchors that will weigh people down and damage their careers. Employers will not tolerate these problem behaviors for long. They hurt your reputation and limit your potential. That’s why wise students recognize their own shortcomings and take steps to address them.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of three books: College Success: Advice for Parents of High School and College Students, The College Student’s Guide To Landing A Great Job -and- The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College. Known as The “College & Career Success” Coach, Bob also writes articles for more than 225 College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites.

Additionally, Bob has developed 20 Self-Scoring Learning Tools that help college students find success. He has been interviewed on numerous radio programs across the country and also by many newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal.

Employment Tips in Preparing Students for the Future

Most graduates today find themselves at a great dilemma once they have been exposed to the real world where one has to compete for some available quality jobs and diligently work for jobs that are not in line with their profession.

This case usually happens when one was not able to seriously prepare his or her emancipation from the university life. Students are often preoccupied with and focus their time and efforts on academics thinking that high grades are panacea for their future employment problems.

With this working assumption in mind, they end up frustrated and their enthusiasm is doused by the fact that there are only so few available jobs where they can apply and practice all the knowledge they have acquired during their studies. Hence, some would either end up going back to school for further studies where they can practice a broader field of interest or get employed for a job which is in no way related to their degree of profession. This is truly a sad state of our society today.

Thus, students are provided by their schools some practical preparations for their actual work in the future.

To prepare the students for a fruitful and rewarding career, the school in partnership with the government and the private sector implements job fairs and career talks to provide the students some working knowledge of what lies ahead for them in the real world.

This practically guides the students career path once they are released to the real world of actual employment, business competitions, and governance. These only show that a great career can best be prepared from school to the commencement of actual work in the real world where theories learned are put to test.

Job fairs expose the students to the available businesses and industries where one can work and apply his or her field of study and ergo start to build one’s career. Employment merely allows for the career to begin but for such career to grow and become fruitful, preparations must be had at the earliest possible time.

Career talks at school are very important for the students to map out their career path from employment to retirement if possible. These career talks enhances the student’s strategic planning for one’s career and ensures that he or she remains on the right path towards the realization of such plan.

The earlier one prepares and begins to realize the growth of his or her career, the more time one has to enjoy these fruits of hard work and perseverance. Careers begin any time of your life. It need not be during your middle age period. Even young and fresh graduates can start realizing a career that one is certain to enjoy and reap benefits thereafter.

Equal Opportunity Career Resources for HBCU Students

The information boom has been nonstop for years. The Internet is a veritable Wild West of information. Off line, information is typically more managed and manageable.

There is even an international organization, International Standards Organization (ISO), to help corporate America and others lasso knowledge and information into some form of uniformity. Because it can be a tough road to sift quality information from the rest that clogs the Internet, many people rely on information wranglers to steer them to a good cut of info.

Quality information available in a timely manner with low fat content can be beneficial to college students embarking on a career. The Internet has you more than covered. Whether targeting Career Resources for HBCU students or not, the following offer equal opportunity access:

1. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social networks have sprung up all over the internet like crabgrass. Everyone is familiar with MySpace, Facebook and a few others, but LinkedIn and Mashable rise to the top for different reasons.

*LinkedIn provides a network of people from around the world who have professional goals in mind. While it has social elements, these benefits are secondary. It effectively pivots the fun of Facebook to capture practical business needs. Anyone can apply to join a network or set up their own network. Special interest networks are present, as well as employment vacancy notices.

According to research, nearly 40% of human resources staff and other hiring bodies surf the Internet to inform their applicant selection process. Why not set up your personal branding scheme and represent your own interests in the best light?

*Mashable is a social and digital media, technology and web aggregation portal. It conveniently funnels blogs, videos, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, business and specialty pop review sites like Technorati, Crunchbase, Techcrunch and CNET, among other forms of social media. Users can stay up on what’s going on in social media through this site. Users can sign up for alerts or notices. Users can find tons of critical info like “70+ Tools for Job Hunting 2. 0”.

*JobRadio. FM career advice is a 24 hour internet radio stream of all things about jobs. Topics run the gamut and include topics such as how to handle a job offer, stressful occupations, and using LinkedIn for job hunting.

*Meetup.com takes social media to a higher level by fostering social networking beyond virtual connections. Users can meet online and meet off line in a variety of social, niche, or business groups. Anyone can form a group, and anyone can apply for inclusion in a group.

2. GOVERNMENT WEBSITES
*USAJobs. gov is the U. S. federal government job board. It can be used to target classes and training, as well as find summer employment or Stay in School positions. Its students. gov guides users with a variety of topics. Users can plan their education, pay for education, get online study help, locate internships, fellowship, and jobs. Users can find out about study abroad and graduate education.

*U. S. Department of Labor.
Its site map can direct users to a student section. Looking for employment, research tools, wages information are linked. The website has the infinitely useful “Occupational Outlook Handbook, ” “Career Guide to Industries, ” employment projections and its spin sites Occupational Outlook Quarterly, and O*NET, Occupational Employment Statistics.

The information is encyclopedic in volume and current with in depth detail including training, education, working conditions, job growth, salary and related occupations.

*Careeronestop. org is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor.
It covers general interests, career exploration, resume writing, school selection decisions. Salary information, relocation, paying for education, health benefits, green careers, training, employment, and cost of living information are provided. Users can link into state job banks.

DirectJobs, a job search portal for associations, is linked to Careeronestop. org, among others. Search by title, location, company.

3. CAREER EMPLOYMENT WEBSITES
Everyone is familiar with Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, but what about SimplyHired, Indeed or Idealist.org? SimplyHired is a feast of employment. It includes salaries and general information related to positions that have openings. The search features are leading edge and user friendly, spanning the world. Idealist is a leader in the nonprofit community for job leads.

It is akin to the periodical “Chronicle of Philanthropy”, sister paper of “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

4. DIRECTORIES
Yahoo! Directory can locate trade Business and Economy trade associations, classifieds, or employment and work related websites. Employment and work related business sites will net SimplyHired, Indeed, Snagajob, eLance, Careermag, Careerjournal, Vault, Flipdog and Collegegrad websites.

Drill down by selecting key topics to find career, employment and job fair sites. CareeFairs, CFG Career Fairs, Job Fair USA, Monster Job Fair and HealthExpoUSA job fairs are listed.

Career Employment – Benefits of Home-Based Jobs For Working Moms

In this economic situation, we often see many companies are downsizing and closing were many people are losing their jobs and even have more difficulty in finding a new jobs because they are racing with the others who lost their jobs as well.

In spite of the bad economy, there are jobs that are blossoming because most companies are turning into to cut cost on manpower services like marketing, customer service, accounting services and admin tasks. These jobs are found online and they are called Virtual Assistants jobs.

Virtual assistants work form their home were they only need a good internet connection, a computer and a headset and you are off to work at the comfort of your own home.

Working from home have many benefits which you did not pay attention because you were employed in a reputable company. Put worries behind because with experience and skills that you have gained from your previous employment, it will definitely help you get a good paying online job. This may not make you a rich person but it will help your day to day expenses.

These are some of the benefits that your can get in working from home.

Helps in saving money and time

Working at the comfort of your home will help you save on money spent on gas, bus or train tickets in going to and from your work plus you will not go through the hassle and stress of being stuck in a traffic especially on a rainy or snowy weather. Instead, the time you spent to travel from your home to your office will be spent to help your kid with his/her homework.

You will also save on money spent for food during your lunch and breaks. And not only that, you will no longer spent your money to buy expensive working clothes. You can have this savings pay your other bills like your mortgage, utilities or insurance.

Flexible working hours and lesser stress

Another benefit in working from home is you have a flexible working hours were you can choose your time of availability that will suit your family’s needs.

Your home is a conducive environment for work with lesser stress because you will not deal with an impossible office mate and supervisor that is very hard to please. Thus, minimizing work related stress plus you can have more time to spend with your family and friends.

Avenue to earn more

Time is no longer an issue if you work from home. Because you have so much time to spend, you can increase your earnings by applying extra jobs as part-time or you can start your own small business out of your passion, whether from baking cookies to making an amazing scrapbooks as a good memorabilia. This can be a good start to become a huge success from earning small amount of dollars to thousands of dollars. Which is also a good opportunity for to become your own boss.

Working from home is beneficial to people not just for stay home moms. You can flourish from this business if are hard working, have a sense of integrity and able to meet expectations right on time. With online home based jobs, your future will shine like the sun.

Philip Andrews enjoys writing for Mybriefcases.com which sells womens briefcases and briefcases for men as well as a host of additional products.