Sunday, 29 January 2012

THE WORLD OF WORK: Getting to the profession of your dreams

ON THE HUNT: Accept that the job search is a process.

According to Katy Piotrowski, author of The Career Coward’s Guide to Changing Careers (JIST Works), up to 80 percent of people are unhappy in their current field and desire a more rewarding career. But finding one doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that can be a long-term project that may require additional education. But, as Piotrowski explains, if you’re committed, you’ll experience steady progress toward your goal. To begin:

Reinvent Yourself:
“The majority of people possess many skills that can be successfully applied to new career areas, in most cases without acquiring new degrees or certifications,” says Piotrowski. She suggests making a list of your strengths and turn each into a role or job title, simply by changing the ending. For example: writing = writer, delegating = delegator. While some of the titles are different from traditional job ad titles, you can get an idea of what the role would entail.

Do Your Homework:
Research your intended career and make sure you are familiar with the current lingo of your prospective industry. Talk to people in the field to learn the fundamentals. When you look at employment ads, break down the job description into sentences and match your skills to each requirement. If at least 70 percent are matched, you have good chance of getting an interview.

Be Patient:
Take it easy on yourself through this transition, whether you want to follow your passion or have lost a job. “It’s very normal to feel confused, angry and even depressed for a while,” Piotrowski says. To stay focused, take a stepping-stone approach until you figure out your next move. And don’t be afraid to seek guidance from a friend or counselor.

Stay Confident:
It is normal for companies to bring you in at a lower salary and train you, which means you have to take a temporary step back. But since career changers tend to bring in a world of experience skills to the table, once the basics are down promotion often happens very quickly. “Hiring managers want to be confident that you know the ropes before they offer more pay and responsibility.”

Build a Strong Reference Network:
Having a network of friends who know the right people can open doors. If you know people who are already familiar with your work and results, have them make a call or send an email of letter of introduction on your behalf. “Most people who love their work are usually very happy to share details about how they made it happen,” Piotrowski says.

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