June 24, 2018

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Change Careers Now

Hate your Job? Bored? Just dying for a change? Semi-retired? The average person will experience 5-7 career changes in their life time. That means going down a whole new career path in a new field doing something totally different.

You don’t have to start at the bottom of the salary scale though. You can be smart like Peggy was. You can pick up on your old talents or go get new skills and put the two together.

Peggy was a doodler. She’d spend her free time drawing animals, people and objects. Her parents had discouraged her from pursing an “art” career telling her she couldn’t make any money in it. She earned a college degree and got a job in a large company in the procurement office. She did just fine but hated the work. One day her boss assigned her to work on the committee for the new company-wide website + IT system upgrade. Here she met Tim. He was an illustrator and graphic designer using the computer as his tools for the art he created. Amazed she watched him work. Peg and Tim became friends and soon she found herself buying software and learning how to use it. She came to talk to me about finding a job as a graphic designer. That’s where we laid out a plan. So she took a couple of company classes and paid for a few on her own. She began to network with people inside her very large company who were designers. She went to HR and made connections there. Within a year, she’d landed a new job as a graphic designer and she actually got a pay raise too.

If you want to make a move these are the steps to help make this plan become a reality.

Step #1 Identify your skills and strengths

Do some solid career exploration on the skills you enjoy using and are good at doing. These will be the foundation of your new career. There are online skills and strengths tests or just make a list. Do you like working with people? Helping others? Do you enjoy working with things like computers or flowers? Maybe you like organizing events? Make a solid list and eliminate anything you don’t find joy in performing.

Step #2 What skills does new job need?

Identify the job title for you next career. Maybe you know it. But if not, go online and do some research. Then look at and search out jobs and investigate what skills employers are seeking. You’ll be surprised to learn that you already have many of these sought after talents. Missing anything vital to perform you new career? Then go and get a course, read some books or take a tutorial and learn it so you can become marketable.

Step#3 Network!

Begin to immediately talk to people in the field so you learn the language, the trends, the jobs, and insider buzz. You’ll also hear about job opportunities. Join the local professional association – these are gold mines for you to meet people to help you as you make your career change.

Step#4 Job hunt!

Craft a targeted resume with your transferable skills. These are your talents that go from one job to another such as customer service expertise, computer skills, organizational planning, managerial skills, etc. Add in any new training and all the previous experience relevant to being successful in the new career. Prep for the interview. Draw on previous work experience showing how you successfully solved problems and are creative and resourceful. Use the info you’ve gained from networking to prepare….and soon you’ll be working in your brand new career.

© 2015 Robin Ryan all rights reserved.

Robin Ryan is America's leading career and job search expert. She's appeared on 1500 TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr Phil, CNN, ABC News and NPR. Robin has a career counseling practice working with individual clients across the US helping them land better jobs. For more career help visit:

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