Are you considering transitioning into a new career but are unsure of how to go about doing so successfully? To help understand common mistakes people make when transitioning into a new career and for tips on transitioning into a new career, I have interviewed Nelandra Anselmo.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a certified Career Transition Coach, certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. I have over 15 years experience as an HR professional and currently run a consulting company called HRLife.
As a coach, one of my specialties is assisting individuals who are in career transition with assessment, career decision making, and all other aspects of the job search. As a therapist, I work with clients who desire change in many areas of their lives including their work, their relationships and overall mental health.”
What are common mistakes people make when transitioning into a new career?
“One common mistake people make is assuming that meeting a list of qualifications (education, experience, skill and/or background) will automatically make them a good fit for a position. Smart job-seekers know that these days, employers are in a position to be extremely picky when it comes to finding the right candidate for their opening. Whether you are in transition due to the unexpected loss of a job, or you have planned a career change, doing your research is of utmost importance. If you want to increase your chances of landing the job you’re after, find out about the type of person that would be most successful in the job and who would fit best within the organization. Researching a career is about more than looking up salary information and memorizing random facts about an organization to get you through an interview. Your research should include learning about the organization’s culture and values, and comparing them to your personal characteristics. If they aren’t compatible, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere.
Another mistake people make is to not know precisely who they are and what they want. Many people fail to take their own interests, work style and needs into account when considering a career, which can result in future disappointment and dissatisfaction with the work situation. This is one reason why we read so much about American workers in staggering numbers being stressed out and unhappy in their jobs.
We spend so much time worrying about whether we are ‘the right person for the job,’ we forget to ask if the job or field is the right one for us. Instead of trying to fit into a job, look for a career that fits your needs. A career transition is a good time not only to evaluate your strengths and skills, but your values as well. It is important to identify this information to help guide your career search. To increase your chances of career satisfaction, start by creating a ‘wish list’ not only for your life at work, but for your desired lifestyle. Is having weekends off important to you? Would you prefer a low- stress/low-responsibility position? Would you be willing to give up some of your identified requirements in exchange for a higher salary? The only way to answer questions like these is to take a look at what is important to you, in order of importance.”
What are 6 tips for transitioning into a new career?
“The following are my six tips for transitioning into a new career:
1. Write down your goals. Be specific about the lifestyle and career you’re after; narrow your search to the positions you’ve identified as meeting your requirements, and focus your time and energy on those opportunities.
2. Pick peoples’ brains. Conduct informational interviews with well-established professionals in your field of interest. Ask questions like, ‘What is the part of this job you like the least?’ to get a realistic idea of the job.
3. Have patience. Understand that finding your dream job may take a while. Create a list of jobs you would be willing to do to bring in income while you work toward your ultimate career goal.
4. Re-evaluate yourself. As you get older, wiser and more experienced, you may come to realize that the career your high school guidance counselor said you were best suited for may no longer be the definitive choice. Take a career interest inventory and personality or work-style assessment, and use a values identification/clarification tool. These things will help you take stock of where you are currently, and what you want going forward.
5. Go to school. Determine areas where you may need further education or training. Take a course or seminar in a subject or field you are exploring.
6. Join professional organizations. Do this even before you have secured a position in your desired field. Volunteering at association events is a great way to network and learn more about those who are doing what you’d like to do.”
What type of professional help is available for someone that is having a hard time transitioning into a new career?
“There are a variety of professionals who are specifically trained to assist individuals in career transition, from career counselors and career coaches to recruiters and professional resume writers. If you are looking to change careers within the same organization, you may be able to seek help in your human resources department. Many HR departments offer assistance with career exploration and educational resources to assist employees in securing internal transfers and promotions. It may make sense to start in your own backyard.
If you are affiliated with a college or university, you may want to start your research at the career services center on campus. If you are conducting independent research and exploring on your own, your resources may vary, depending on the job search and type of services you require. If you hire professionals, be sure they are qualified and trained. It is important to do your homework in this area. For a more informal approach, utilize the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook career database ( http://www.bls.gov/oco/ ) or visit local job and career fairs to gather general information and talk to company representatives about specific jobs.”
Thank you Nelandra for doing the interview on tips for transitioning into a new career. For more information on Nelandra Anselmo or her work you can check out her company’s website on www.thelifeinfo.com
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