Think it’s time to change careers, not just jobs? Taking control of your future is empowering—especially when it’s about something as important as the job you spend most of your waking life doing.
Changing careers isn’t a decision to be
taken lightly, however. This article gives advice for making long-term plans,
conducting research, and pursuing the training you need to make the switch
Consider Your Strengths
What are you currently good at? Taking an
honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses can help point you in the
direction of a new career path. You may already have skills that will transfer
to your new industry. Some examples of strengths include:
- Customer service skills (or
- Learning new terminology or
- Solving technical problems by
testing and re-testing solutions
- Patience in high-stress
- Good mathematical abilities
- Strong written and verbal
- Contributing to teams
If you’re not sure, ask a trusted friend or
co-worker where they think your strengths lie.
Brainstorm Your Options
Think about how you want to feel at the end
of your day’s work. For example, would you rather:
- Feel the satisfaction of
working and building with your hands?
- Be confident you contributed to
If you’re drawn toward building things, a
career in the skilled trades could be a good choice. If you’re drawn toward
helping others or toward health sciences, a healthcare career might be right
Uncertain? You can always try taking online
career tests or talking to an admissions advisor at a local career college. At
Altierus Career College, our admissions staff will help you narrow down your
potential career path options by asking questions about your interests, skills,
and previous experience.
Research Growing Occupations
Next, try to get an idea for how jobs in
the industry that interests you are growing. There are plenty of reliable
resources that can help you determine which occupations in the industries
you’re drawn to are most likely to remain in demand for the near future. These
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook: offers detailed job growth
projections at the national level from 2018-2028, plus median national salary
information, an overview of what each job does and how to train for it.
- O*Net Online: Draws on BLS statistics
and presents a wider range of job options. Includes survey data from people
currently in the field which can give you an idea of which skills are regularly
used on the job.
For reference, the BLS predicts that the
overall job growth rate for the entire U.S. economy will be 5% over the
2018-2028 period (0.5% growth per year).[i] Try to match your interests with industries where jobs are projected to grow as
fast or faster than this, such as healthcare (14% projected growth).[ii]
Explore Training Options
Find out what kind of training you’ll need
to complete to start pursuing jobs in your new chosen career path. Some careers
may only require on-the-job-training. For others, formal education may be
either required (for example, if you want to become a registered nurse) or strongly
preferred by employers.
It may surprise you to learn that a
four-year college degree isn’t needed to qualify for many rewarding and
interesting jobs. You can qualify for jobs in growing industries with diploma
programs that can be completed in as few as eight months of study.
Choose programs that include experienced
instructors, training environments that use real tools and simulators and that
offer clinical experience or professional shadowing experience. If your chosen
occupation requires certification or has industry certification available, you
should also look for a program that includes certification test prep.
At Altierus Career College, we offer our
students all of this, plus e-textbooks, course supplies, and an iPad that students
can keep. In addition, we cover exam fees for industry certification or
licensure tests where applicable.
Make a Long-Term Plan
Once you start a training program, take
advantage of career services to make a long-term plan for pursuing a job in
your field. Find out who your region’s major employers are. Get advice on your
resume and attend practice interview sessions so you’re ready to hit the job
market running once you have your qualification.
Also look beyond entry-level roles to see
what options might be available to you as you progress. If you become a nurse,
would you be interested in pursuing a nursing bachelor’s degree or master’s
degree in the future? If you train as an electrician, would you be interested
in eventually running your own business? Finding out what’s possible three,
five, or even 10 years down the line can be a great motivation for sticking to
a career change plan.
Go For It!
If you want to pursue a new career, not a
just a new job, Altierus Career College can help. Contact us today to find
out how we can help you train to pursue exciting opportunities in fast-growing
References: 10 Steps to a Successful Career Change