Strategies for Making a Career Change

August 20th, 2013

CNN Money’s recent article on the job market indicates that July 2013 was one of the slowest employment months since March of this year. With this in mind, what is the best advice for a job candidate considering a career change? Capitalize on what is in your control: assessing your potential, evaluating the marketing and creating a realistic plan of action.

Assessing your potential

Changing careers involves personal assessment. The Employment & Training Administration of the US Department of Labor (DOL) provides career assessment tools and online career resources including the location of career centers in your area. Don’t overlook this valuable resource. Your local library can also direct you to their career tool resources (along with resources for local employment opportunities).

After you assess your skills and qualifications, match that against what you want to do and what’s out there.

Evaluating the market

Where are the jobs? As you evaluate your next move, be sure to evaluate exactly what’s trending in the employment market.

The U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 lists the “occupations that offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security.”

A May 2013 survey by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that the lowest unemployment rates are for college graduates with majors in “education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%), health and the sciences (4.8%)”-basically anything connected to the health care and education industries. This is valuable information to utilize as you evaluate the job market.

Developing a plan of action

Changing careers should be approached as though you are starting a new business. You are. The business of you.

Once you decide on your new career path, formulate a plan of action that includes:

  • A business plan
  • Career counseling
  • Training
  • Evaluation of loans and grants for education
  • A financial plan to transition and or finance your new path

Do check into the counseling center of your local community college to see what they offer and to evaluate their classes to train you for your new career path. Find out what adult education classes are available in your area. Consider volunteer opportunities to in your new career. These resources can not only train your for that new career but can allow you to explore that new career before you make the switch.

Now is the time to begin to network online and in person among professionals in your new career area. Check out local professional organizations as well.

Employment projections all agree that temporary and part time jobs are on the rise. Remember that these are valuable opportunities to develop new career skills.

We at Olympic Staffing Services are here to help. We don’t simply fill positions—we build relationships, taking the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

 

Is It Time to Leave the Job?

August 13th, 2013

According the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, changing jobs is one of the highest
life event stressors. Getting fired? Even higher. But knowing when it’s time to
leave and being proactive can reduce that stress and put you in control.

Five warning signs

The foundational warning signs that it is time to  consider leaving your job:

  • Despite your protests to the contrary, your annual evaluation reveals that you are less productive, consistently arrive to work late, call in sick excessively and you are not engaged when you are at work.
  • You know you are unhappy at work and are manifesting your unhappiness in anger and negativity.
  • You’re under-challenged. All efforts to remedy this situation have been met with resistance from your supervisor.
  • Your place of employment fails to deliver on career promises, advancements, training, benefits and financial remuneration.
  • Your core values do not mesh with the company culture.
  • Your current job is no longer on your career path.

Consider your options

The old adage is correct: A job in the hand is worth two in the bush, especially in today’s economic climate.

Decide your next step. Will you quit before you have another job? Will you wait until you have a new position and then give notice? Consider temporary work while you go back to school for a career change?

Review your finances and consider how you will meet your obligations including health insurance and emergencies. Will it be necessary to dip into savings? Write your detailed budget and plan on paper. Consider a thirty day and sixty day plan, followed by a long term plan.

The best scenario is to budget and plan before you quit. Get all your indicators
in place and then set a target date.

How to quit

Timing is everything when it comes to giving notice of your intent to leave the job. Review the company policies for sick and vacation accrual. Time your exit carefully according to anticipated bonuses, paid holidays and other benefits.

Don’t burn bridges by observing these professional guidelines:

  • Give your supervisor notice before you share with coworkers.
  • Provide adequate notice.
  • Maintain a good attitude and continue to give the job one hundred percent.
  • Be prepared to answer the question of why you are leaving in positive manner.

Good planning and professional behavior can ensure you transition out of the old job and into your future smoothly and without stress.

Your goal is to match your skills with the right company. At Olympic Staffing Services that’s our goal, too. Contact us and let’s chat about how we can partner to make that happen.