If you’ve been displaced from your job by the new economy and it isn’t coming back anytime soon, you need a new plan. Many of yesterday’s jobs are now being done by computers, robots or lower-paid workers across the globe.
Time for a career change.
That’s scary, of course, and requires a lot of planning. Here is some guidance the experts offer in switching gears mid-career.
1. Determine What Might Be a Fit
Career advisors suggest you make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, what brings you joy, how you like to work, that sort of thing. Doing so will help you quickly eliminate some careers and raise others to the top of the list. For example, if you like to be outdoors, an administrative job might not be your best bet. If you like helping people, something in health care might be the track for you.
2. Consider Your Financial Needs
How much money do you need to maintain a reasonable standard of living? A single mother of three young children has different needs than a young bachelor with no debt. Your financial situation may rule out certain career paths that require a large upfront investment or just don’t pay well.
3. Look Into the Industries That Pique Your Interest
You may think you want to be a truck driver, a marine biologist or a graphic designer, but do you really know what that means? Learn about the work itself and the lifestyle of the careers you’re considering by talking to people in the business and reading up on the work-life balance. If it confirms you’re choice, great! If it raises red flags, whew! — you saved yourself a lot of heartache.
4. Keep an Open Mind
Changing careers requires that you walk a fine line between humility and confidence. You may have experience in the working world, but it’s important to remain humble about your new career. It’s okay not to be an expert at the start. At the same time, be confident in the skills you have. Doing both will serve you well.
5. Understand the 21st Century Workplace
It’s a whole new world now, so prepare your mind for the 21st century workplace. Employers are less interested in what you know and more interested in how well you can learn. They need people who can think critically, communicate and collaborate with others, and adapt to change. Make sure your mindset isn’t stuck in the old ways you might have gotten used to.
6. Get Credentialed in Your Chosen Field
Palmetto Goodwill offers free career credentialing to anyone in need of a career change. A fast-paced certification program, it trains people for careers in fields such as manufacturing, welding, hospitality, culinary arts, software/IT and commercial driving.
The Career Credentialing Program prepares students with basic competency and a promise to employers that graduates are capable of handling challenges on the job. At the conclusion of the program, Palmetto Goodwill employment specialists work with participants to help them take the next step on their career journey.
To learn more about Palmetto Goodwill’s Career Credentialing Program, visit PalmettoGoodwill.org/career-credentialing or call (843)566-0072.