In many countries around globe, people are born into their station in life and hence their professions. It is unnecessary for them to plan a career as they are expected to perform one specific job their entire lives. These cultures do not consider personal growth or possibility of choosing one’s profession.
America, on other hand, was built on self-reinvention, and today’s economy demands it. Those born before 1946 are less likely to have changed careers or even worked for more than one employer during their lifetimes.
Today, many employees outlive lifespan of companies they work for, and average worker can now expect to have at least three or more careers, with up to six different positions within each of those careers.
Hardly a week goes by without hearing of corporate takeovers, mergers and corporate downsizing. As a result, thousands of seasoned employees are facing burnout from increased responsibilities or being laid-off and replaced with younger, lower-paid employees. Many are looking for a different means of earning a livelihood.
For first time in history, employees must learn to manage themselves and take responsibility for their own employment. Even word “career” is taking on new meaning, as a new generation of employees is moving in and out of multiple careers during their lifetimes.
Keep in mind that a career change is not same as job advancement within a specific career. Most are either lateral or a step down in income until you gain experience and expertise in your new career. Be prepared to downsize your lifestyle.
Think of choosing a new career as an opportunity to bring a fresh outlook and revitalization to your life, as new experiences will stimulate your thought processes.
The most importance part of selecting a new career is also most obvious, . . . deciding on what you want to do. Often this is a natural offshoot of a previous occupation(s). Reinventing yourself often involves a unique merging of your old talents with your new skill set.
Begin by making an honest assessment of your skills, interests and experiences and ask yourself: -What would I do if money were no object? -What did I love to do as a child? -What activity do I do so intently that I don't notice time passing? -What do I feel passionately about? -What do I value most? -What are my strengths? -What are my transferable skills? -What kind and how much education will I need to make this change?