10 Re-careering Tips:
1. Check out the hot — and not-so-hot — fields.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives indications of which fields expect to grow versus lose jobs, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to become a social worker (should be a good bet) or a television anchor (not so much). But don’t throw a dart and pick a so-called hot job. Read on.
2. Don’t start from scratch.
Re-careering doesn’t have to mean throwing out your years of work experience. If you’re an IT professional laid off from a tech company, you don’t have to become a nurse. Brush up on privacy law, network security or database management, and apply with a health care organization.
3. Follow your heart.
Biotechnology might be the next big thing, but if you find it boring, don’t bother. One of the best predictors of success in a field is your passion for it. Good engineers of any type are usually in demand; mediocre ones are rarely in demand. What interests you?
4. Take into account the work environment and physical requirements.
Do you work well when the pace is fast? Or do you prefer to be introspective and analytical? Do you despise being on your feet all day, or are you miserable sitting in a cube?
5. Do a 360-review.
Call upon peers and colleagues — both former supervisors and employees — to assess your strengths and weaknesses. You might be surprised what others say are your best (and worst) qualities, and what you uniquely bring to a position.
6. Network, network, network.
Whether it’s getting to know fellow students, impressing an instructor, volunteering or doing an internship, it’s essential to make connections with people who can help you with your goals.
7. Seek professional help.
Maricopa County Community Colleges’ career centers are free and open to the public.
8. Go back to school.
It can be as simple as taking one course to earning a certificate or a degree.
9. Look for financial assistance.
Subsidized loans, Pell grants and scholarships are available, especially if you’ve lost a job. Even small scholarships add up. Call professional organizations in your field of interest and check the library for lists of scholarships many people don’t even know exist.
10. Differentiate yourself.
Instead of just earning a teaching degree, look into certificates such as English immersion or special education to make you more marketable and malleable.
Re-careering tips sources:
Joe Patterson, assistant vice president and executive director of Thunderbird Online at Thunderbird School of Global Management; Ruthie Pyles, director of M.B.A. recruitment and admission, the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; Scott Schulz, director of career and employment services at Glendale Community College