Ask Amer­ica’s ul­ti­mate ex­perts

Mak­ing a switch to a job you truly love is eas­ier than you think, prom­ise our ex­perts, who share the con­fi­dence-build­ing steps that’ll help you start fresh and land your dream gig!

Woman's World - - Contents -

Fo­cus your ob­jec­tives Let your­self dream

“If you’re think­ing of mov­ing in a new di­rec­tion, it’s im­por­tant to first do some soul search­ing to zero in on your true pas­sions,” notes ca­reer ex­pert Kerry Han­non, who says that cre­at­ing a dream board is one of the most in­spir­ing ways to do just that. “By phys­i­cally cut­ting out pic­tures, you’re lit­er­ally putting things in mo­tion and build­ing mo­men­tum. For ex­am­ple, I know a woman who cre­ated a board with im­ages of dogs and peo­ple laugh­ing, and she now runs a dog-walk­ing busi­ness!”

Know your adapt­abil­ity

Pin­point­ing your trans­fer­able skills will help fire up your drive, says ca­reer coach Dawn Gra­ham, PH.D. “Drill down on the de­tails of what you do,” she ad­vises. “If you’re in cus­tomer ser­vice, for ex­am­ple, rather than sim­ply not­ing that you have great com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills, jot down specifics like ‘build­ing re­la­tion­ships with cus­tomers’ and ‘ask­ing prob­ing ques­tions’—por­ta­ble skills you can take any­where!”

Build your can- do team

Revving your con­fi­dence is as easy as call­ing your pals. “Ask what they think your tal­ents are,” says Han­non. They’ll of­ten shed light on skills you don’t give your­self credit for, such as that you’re a great pho­tog­ra­pher, some­thing that can ex­pand your job search in sur­pris­ing ways!

Make your ac­tion plan Close the skills gap

To ID your ideal ca­reer and what you need to beef up on, go to Ca­reeron­estop.org/skills for a skills pro­filer that matches your tal­ents to po­ten­tial jobs and finds the right fit, says ca­reer pro Thea Kel­ley. “Then look at job post­ings for the kind of ex­per­tise they’re ask­ing for. You can close the skills gap with a class or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram at a com­mu­nity col­lege—a lot of peo­ple don’t know that in some states, res­i­dents are en­ti­tled to free com­mu­nity col­lege ca­reer ser­vices!”

Make con­nec­tions

Net­work­ing doesn’t need to be scary, prom­ises Kel­ley. Sim­ply con­nect with in­dus­try groups on Linkedin.com to find oth­ers in your tar­geted field. And con­sider join­ing a pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion—just do a search for your in­dus­try, state and the word “as­so­ci­a­tion” to learn about op­por­tu­ni­ties and free train­ing pro­grams.

Trans­form your ré­sumé

Rather than go into de­tail about un­re­lated ex­pe­ri­ences, high­light the jobs that re­flect your new ca­reer aims, ad­vises Kel­ley. “Say you have a back­ground in vol­un­teer work but want a ca­reer in writ­ing,” she says. “In­stead of men­tion­ing your fund-rais­ing chops, in­clude that you drafted newsletters. And rather than de­scrib­ing for­mer po­si­tions that aren’t rel­e­vant, sim­ply list them. Your ré­sumé isn’t about your past—it’s about your fu­ture!”

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