Building Your Career Change Into A Career Advance
The world can be scary today. People who have paid tens of thousands of dollars for shiny new degrees in technology are find out that they don't have jobs waiting for them, like their fathers and mothers did. Instead, things are changing so fast that their degrees may be obsolete within a year of graduation! Other people, sometimes well into their fifties, are being shifted around by a changing industry, losing jobs they've held for twenty years or more because of downsizing, outsourcing, or one of the other euphemisms that translate to "fewer jobs for you." A lot of people are looking for ways to change their careers, rather than continue futilely looking for positions in a shrinking industry job market. But you need to be careful about this; you may invest thousands of dollars in fresh education, only to find no jobs in your new career choice either. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself. When changing careers, look at the national job outlook guidelines. The Department of Labor (who are a little behind, by the way, in updating a lot of their information) puts out an annual report on shrinking and growing industries, and predicts where job growth will be over the next one, five, and ten years. You can find this report online, or a librarian can help you find it in your local library. When you're choosing a career to move into, look here to make sure you're not moving into another shrinking industry. In your career change, try not to change everything. You already have a world of experience behind you from your old job. That's not just intellectual trash; that's a treasure you can use to leverage yourself into a better position. Instead of giving up on everything, look carefully at the career change you're considering and see if you can find ways to turn your lifelong knowledge into a more lucrative niche career. For example, if you're a lawyer and you've decided on a career change, a great move would be to get a B.S.N. in nursing. Not only is nursing a growing and lucrative field, there aren't a lot of nurses out there with law degrees. Having both a law degree and a four-year nursing degree can help you get high-paying expert witness jobs, jobs in the medical malpractice insurance industry, or an exciting career in forensic medicine. People will pay you well for your two-degree education. If you are an IT professional, keep up your computer skills while getting a degree in health care, law, or business management; that degree is worth a fortune to an IT company who's trying to get contracts with hospitals, or to the company who needs a top-notch CIO. In most outsourcing career fields, the part being outsourced isn't the creative stuff or the sales part; it's the day to day grind: routine programming jobs, hands-on manufacturing, or telephone support. If you're a creative person, talk to employment counselors or college advisors about what you can do with your prior knowledge and your creativity; you might be pleasantly surprised.