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Re-evaluate your Skills
Ok, so you’ve done everything right, got your training, got your experience, everything you’re supposed to do…and now you don’t like it. It’s overwhelming to realize that the Career Path you’ve chosen isn’t right for you anymore. What now? It’s a great time to look at the skills and attributes you already have that could apply to a different position!
- What new skills did you gain at your last/current job? Are they transferrable?
- Is there any new skill that you really enjoy/excel at?
- Can you expand on any of your existing skills and take them in a different Direction? Like if an Administrative Assistant that dealt with client accounts and service could transfer those skills to Inside or Outside Sales
Building on a Skill you already have is one of the easiest (and most sure-fire ways) to get a job that you already have some proven experience in as well and ensuring that you know what you’re getting into when trying to break into a new industry.
Pick A New Direction/Interest
Now that you know what your good at, you can do the fun part and figure out what you like! Ask yourself a few questions:
- What would you like to do?
- Is it realistic to achieve right now?
- Is there a lower level of that job, or something similar that you could shoot for?
- Does it work with the work/life balance you need to have a happy life?
It’s important that you are REALLY honest with yourself here… it’s your life that you have to live! Pick what is right for you, your goals, your life, and your future.
Get the Education
Education can seem daunting when you’ve got bills to pay, a family to feed, and haven’t been to school in a long time. Don’t let it stop you! Taking courses gives you credibility in the industry, as well as showing that you are a person that is always looking to better yourself and that you can take change in stride (Employers like that!).
This is where you’ll run into roadblocks, not enough time, money etc. Here’s a couple ways to side-step those issues while still moving toward your goal:
- Many courses can be taken online and can be done at your own pace. Trades Colleges also provide a lot of options for evening and weekend classes; they are very understanding and flexible for students with a “Day Job”
- There are many FREE services out there that will help you fund training and even can subsidize your pay and make you more attractive to potential employers
For example, if you are looking to get into Camp Jobs, a Heavy Machine Operator’s Course will get you Short Listed to the top of the pile every time.
Get the Experience
As any High School/College/University graduate will tell you, getting someone to give you the time of day when you are unproven and untried can be extremely difficult. A lot of people get caught up in the fact that they need a certain salary, a full-time position, etc. etc. but there are some ways to get this desperately needed experience without “losing your shirt”, so to speak.
- Take Temp and Part-Time jobs! You will get experience and make contacts in the Industry your trying to break into…you can always do something else on the side to pay the bills until you get enough experience for the Full-Time, Salaried position.
- Your teachers are Industry Professionals too! Ask for references, suggestions, and advice on who is hiring and who to contact
- Talk to a Recruiter (or 10!), like Excel Personnel. They can be a huge help in your job search as they have new job contracts to fill all the time. And best of all, it’s FREE for you to get on the Roster.
Update your Resume
This is one of the MOST important parts of the process. Keeping useless information on your resume makes things cluttered and irrelevant. You may get turned down for jobs that you are completely qualified for just because they didn’t bother to wade through all the extra information. The way to stand out to an Employer is:
- Make a new Resume dedicated to ONLY the Skills and Work Experience that is relevant to this position or industry
But here is where it gets tricky… it is easy to assume this means that you should just leave off any Work History and Experience that isn’t exactly to do with this position; But that puts holes in your resume that leave employers wondering “What did he/she do for 4 years between Job A & Job B?”.
The answer to this is to look through all your Job History and pick out responsibilities and skills that are relevant to the position your trying to get, for example: I was an Banquet Event Coordinator in a hotel and was trying to get an Office Administrator job so I went through all the different duties, responsibilities, skills, and attributes that I had from each job that correlated with the position I was trying to gain.
So when I made my resume it said “ABC Hotel – Using Multi-line Phone System, Billing Procedures, Email/Phone Correspondence, etc. etc.”, while leaving out things such as, “Coordinating Functions of up to 400 people, Setting Rooms, and Intermediate Napkin Folding Skills”.
As a Recruiter, these are the resumes that I jump for joy when I see. Make your next employer thank their lucky stars that YOU chose to work with THEM. These are some tips I learned during my (many) interviews. Do you have any other ideas? What worked for you? How did you change careers? Comment!
Written by Erin Smith