Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. – Bobby Unser
You know you’re ready for a career change – but what career? How do you choose? Where do you start? Obviously, you want to be successful at whatever choice you make. You want a career that has growth potential. You want a career that suits your interests and style. With that in mind, you need a strategy – one that includes research on growth industries; the skills needed to be successful; the education you should consider; and finally, what the next step might be. The following will help you narrow down your interests and develop a plan:
What are some of the fields that have the best potential for future growth? Writing for salary.com, Dawn Dugan outlines career fields with job growth potential in the years to come. They are:
Writing for monster.com, Sally Buffalo identifies 10 fast-growing industries:
Not only are these areas growth industries, but more specifically, they are all centered around persistent human needs that do not become obsolete over time. This translates to job security well into the future.
In addition, another industry not mentioned here, but one which will always be crucially important to societal order and well-being is the law enforcement industry. This includes, but is not limited to: police, probation, corrections, crime scene investigation, security services, and Homeland security. As Mary Ellen Slayter writing for monster.com writes, “Jobs in criminal justice are demanding, but the rewards of serving your fellow citizens are unparalleled.”
With some of these growth industries in mind, do you see yourself making a career change in your future? If so, what do you need to make a change? If you analyze it, you probably already have some of the skills to build upon in some of these areas. Looking at both lists it’s obvious that these industries all require a knowledge base that includes:
To take it from an idea to a reality, you need a plan. To do that, you will need to figure out what new career direction you want to take. As there are more choices than ever before, you might begin by asking yourself these questions:
Setting aside tangible rewards, such as an increase in pay, these questions are geared toward understanding what truly motivates you. You need to discover what gives you a sense of purpose, direction, commitment, and accomplishment. The answers to these questions will help you hone in on the field you’re interested in pursuing.
Once you have an idea of the field, exploring different career options has never been easier thanks to the Internet. You can first research your interests, and then seek out the people already working and writing about the field – and asking them questions about their jobs and the field you’re considering. You might explore blogs written by professionals in the field. You may even find that they’ve answered many of your questions. Remember, most people sharing information online really enjoy being helpful.
After some exploration, what do you think?
Once you have an idea about a field you would like to pursue, and are more informed about your chosen field, you need a strategy to move your goal forward. Writing for themuse.com, Jenny Foss discusses 8 steps to a successful career change:
Ms. Foss’s step 3 is a crucial step. You can and should utilize your existing expertise as a springboard to a new career. But, you also need to find out what additional training, and/or education you may need for your new career path. Here are some degree areas that provide a broad range of subject areas pertinent to some of the career fields noted above:
When you’ve settled on an area of study, and identified additional training you want to pursue, you will need to find an educational program that will help you get from here to there. That said, the average person changing careers is balancing work, family, financial and time commitments. How do you go back to school and keep everything else going? One of the best educational strategies can be to earn your certificate or degree online. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Once you have an idea in mind of where you want to be and how you intend to get there, a world of varied opportunities awaits you! You are ready to position yourself to take advantage of career opportunities in growth industries just waiting for your contributions. Work on a strategy to insure you have the greatest chance for success and then make your move!
Contributor: Cynthia Dalton
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