Part 1: Should You Make a Career Change
Part 2: SWOT Analysis
Part 3: Picking the Right Career Path
Part 4: Opportunities Available
Part 5: Saying Goodbye to Your Job
Part 6: Finding and Getting That New Job
Part 7: Turning a Hobby into a Career
That being said... Let’s get started shall we:
Part 1: Should You Make a Career Change
Many people don’t like their jobs – it is part of being in the working world. Even people who claim to love their jobs still have days when the thought of going to work can be just too much to bear.
However, the truth is that you just may be on the wrong career path if your level of job satisfaction is less than what it should be.
The best way to really see and accept that it might be time for a career change is to honestly look at how you feel about what you do. This is really a very easy process. All you need to do is keep a daily work journal.
First, record how you feel about going into the office or workplace every day. Be honest with yourself and write your true feelings. Are you dreading walking through the doors and the thought of it makes you nauseous? Maybe you’re looking forward to it but once you get there, you find that you are bored and unable to concentrate.
When a specific job situation comes up, write down your reactions to having to complete that task.
Your boss has given you the assignment of researching past profit margins for one of the products your company produces. He wants a comprehensive report done and on his desk within two days.
Are you angry and dreading the job or does it make you happy to be trusted with an important job?
Write it down!
In your work journal, jot down your feelings about your co-workers. Do you generally get along wit everyone, or do you find yourself constantly at odds with people or a specific person?
The key to a work journal is to write down exactly how you feel about various aspects of your job and then look for recurring themes. Are you unhappy because of the people you are around or because of what you are doing? Perhaps you just disagree with specific company policies. After you have identified the reason that you are unhappy with your job, you can start to take steps to look for something else.
Part 2: SWOT AnalysisWhen speaking about a SWOT Analysis, this is a way of doing some serious self-reflecting and figuring out what your internal as well as external strengths and weaknesses are. Think of it as a pro and con list about you!
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. While we are hesitant to use the word “weakness” as it is very negative, using the word “shortcomings” doesn’t make as catchy an acronym (SWOS) as SWOT!
One of your greatest strengths can be the love of the work you do. Learning to "follow your bliss" should be a critical component of managing your career. Some people know from an early age what kind of work will make them happy. For others, nailing down the self-knowledge that leads to career fulfilment comes from a process of exploring interests, skills, personality, learning style, and values.
In assessing your weaknesses, think about what prospective employers might consider to be the areas you could improve upon. Facing your frailties now can give you a huge head start in career planning.
As humans, we find it relatively difficult to identify the areas where we are weak. But this assessment helps to identify areas where we may need to improve. If you identify a skill that you know is in your chosen field, but you are weak in that skill area, you need to take steps to improve that skill. Past performance appraisals and even your grades and teacher comments from school provide valuable feedback.
Doing a SWOT will not only help to guide you toward a specific career that you will enjoy, it will also give you an idea of how to market yourself so that you can get that dream job that you want.
From this analysis, you will have a road map that shows you how to capitalize on your strengths and minimize or eliminate your weaknesses. You should then use this map to take advantage of opportunities and avoid or lessen threats.
After you've analyzed your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities, you should use that information to plan how to market yourself.
Part 3: Picking the Right Career PathFor some people, finding the right job in an industry that excites you is an easy choice. When we’re little, we always have an idea of what we want to be when we grow up. More often than not, we don’t always get to realize that. As we grow older, not only do our interests change, but our realities change as well. The world can only have so many ballerinas, actresses, or professional ball players.
Therefore, facing the reality that you probably won’t be doing what you thought you’d be doing back when you were eight years old can be a painful thought. However, some people do get to be what they always wanted to be.
High school graduates are also faced with an important decision when it comes to their career field.
So many young people go to college taking core classes without knowing what they want their
major to be.
So, are there certain things you need to consider when choosing a career field? In fact, there are many things that you need to keep in mind. You will want to be successful in whatever job field you choose, so it can be very important to be sure you are going to go into a business where you will be happy and where you can realize your full potential.
There are all sorts of tests you can take online that can help with your career field. What is a career test? It’s a series of questions you answer based on what your preferences are or how you feel about specific job situations. The test will then analyze your answers and present you with the top jobs that fit you based on those answers.
Some of the more accurate and reliable online career tests require you to purchase a membership or a package to get your results, but you can find some free career tests.
The basic format of many of these career tests are the same, for the most part. You are presented with three situations and you pick which one you prefer most and which one you prefer least. This is how they can find where your interests lie as well as where your abilities and talents can be best utilized.
Part 4: Opportunities AvailableObviously, the choice of jobs is limitless as we need all sorts of people to perform all sorts of functions in society. Hotel clerks, salespeople, even the person at the drive-thru at McDonald’s all serve important functions in life as we know it.
What one person may think of as a boring and mundane job might be another person’s dream job, so there is a career out there that can fit good with you and your lifestyle and abilities.
Make a list of potential careers where you think you could be happy. Do you like helping people and think that social work would be a good fit for you? Maybe the medical field is more your speed. It’s a good idea to simply identify the general field you want to work in and then explore the types of jobs that are available in that field.
The thing about making a career change is that you want to work in a job that fits well with you and your personality. You want it to be interesting to you and that you look forward to going to work instead of dreading it.
Many jobs will require additional education or some type of training. If you have always wanted to be an attorney, you’ll have to go to law school – obviously. But remember that you are not happy with your present job and want to work in the legal field.
Register for law school and apply for a job with a firm that can help you in the future and learn more about the business such as a legal secretary or even a paralegal.
When you consider that you are trying to better yourself and make yourself happier, the extra education will be well worth it. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve worked hard to get into an industry where you’ll be happy working. It’s a fulfilling journey, believe me!
Part 5: Saying Goodbye to Your Job In the business world, it’s important that you remember not to burn any bridges. Even if you absolutely HATE your job, where you work, your co-workers, or your boss, you should still conduct yourself in a professional manner when you leave.
Doing so will show everyone how much class and integrity you have and it will be remembered!
When you leave your job, your emotions may be running high, especially if you are leaving on bad terms. You may want to tell your boss or co-workers what you really think of them. Don't do it, even if they truly deserve it. You never know who you will meet down the road and who you may have to work with one day.
Don’t damage company property or steal something when you leave. You may feel you were mistreated by your employer and you may be really angry. However, vandalism and theft are criminal offenses. Not only will your professional reputation be damaged by your actions, you could end up in jail.
Be sure to ask for a reference or a letter of recommendation. This may sound like an odd thing to consider if you are leaving your job on unfavourable terms. However, you will have to include this job on your resume, so you should try to make sure you get either a good or, at least, a neutral reference.
If you've been fired because of some horrible offense, this may be a moot point. However if you parting is due to something less serious, you may be able to ask your boss for a reference, in spite of the fact that "things didn't work out as expected."
If your company has hired a replacement for your job and you have the opportunity to be around him or her, do not badmouth your boss, your co-workers, or the company in general. First of all, it will only look like sour grapes, so there's nothing to gain here.
Secondly, your successor will figure things out for him or herself. Thirdly, it may have been bad chemistry, and your co-worker will have a totally different experience than you did.
When you are ready to start interviewing, it’s also important to remember the above suggestion: don’t bad mouth the company or your boss. The only person who this will make look bad is you.
Your prospective boss will wonder what caused your relationship with your prior employer to sour and will suspect that you could have been at fault.
Part 6: Finding and Getting That New Job
After you’ve decided what it is that you REALLY want to do with your life and you have the education you need, now’s the time to go out and get that new job and get well on your way to a new and exciting career.
Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it might seem!
You literally have hundreds and hundreds of resources at your fingertips when it comes to the job hunt! If you are willing to relocate, your options are multiplied, but even if you want to stay put, you can either face commuting or even find something right where you live.
Start by looking in your local newspaper as well as papers from the towns surrounding you.
Employers generally concentrate on the some editions of the papers to advertise job openings – especially the Tuesday paper. You’ll be able to see what’s available out there and narrow down your search based on these ads.
Another great resource is the Internet. We live in the Information Age, and there are many, many websites dedicated to the job seeker. These sites allow you to post your resume online and to search available jobs all over the country and even all over the world.
Once you’ve found a job you are interested in, it’s time to submit your resume. When I was looking for a sales job, I posted my resume on monster.com and had a phone call within an hour of posting, so these websites can be extremely valuable to the job seeker.
You will also need a cover letter to accompany your resume. In general, the cover letter should be as concise and to the point as possible. Don’t ramble on and on, let your resume do the talking.
The cover letter is just a basic introduction to your resume.
A good, solid resume and cover letter will get you an interview which is when it is your job to shine and stand out from other applicants. How do you do that? Preparation is key in the process. To be prepared for a job interview means knowing about the industry, the employer, and yourself. It means paying attention to details like personal appearance, punctuality, and demeanour.
After the interview, it is essential to follow up with a thank you note. This serves two purposes.
First, it tells the employer that you are grateful for their time and want to do the polite thing by sending out a note thanking them for that. But, a thank you note also brings you back into their mind which can be good if they are close to making a decision on who to hire.
It is also your chance to reiterate something you mentioned on the interview or bring up something you forgot to mention.
You should try to send a note to each person who took part in your interview. If you don't remember the name of each person, call the receptionist for some help. Keep your note brief. Make sure it is typed. Sending a formal thank you note sets you apart from everyone else who forgot to or chose not to do this, so it’s a good idea to always send one.
Part 7: Turning a Hobby into a Career
What do you like to do? Is knitting your passion? Do you love garage sales and can’t imagine a Saturday morning without them? Maybe you have a real talent for cooking. Perhaps you love to use a computer and have found that it comes easily to you. If you have something that you love to do and seem to be good at it, it is truly possible for you to turn that hobby into a real career.
If you think it’s possible that you want to turn your hobby into a career or start a part-time business to earn extra income, you should start with a realistic business plan. Map out how you will start your business and where you want to end up so you will feel and be successful.
The thing about getting started with making a hobby into a career is to find a market and then capitalize on it. Have enough inventories on hand and then start selling what you create. E-bay is a wonderful place for people to start selling handmade wares (if you have any idea about online business) and has provided a nice living for people who take the time to place their auctions up for sale.
However, non-internet business with hot products for hungry buyers is a best bet for you to start a business or earn extra income from the current you are holding.
You must have something that makes you stand out from your competition. That applies to businesses on e-bay or on your own. Think about providing an additional service or some extra that will make it worth the buyer’s time to purchase your product. Many a successful business has been successful just because they go that one extra step that makes them stand out.
Networking can be very important when you are trying to grow your hobby as a business. Try bringing your wares to a local business and see if they will be willing to partner with you in sales.
You give them a commission and they carry your product in their store. Not only does this give you a market share in your locality, but it helps spread the word about what you are making and selling.
Remember that if you are self-employed, you should be putting some of your profits away to pay self-employment taxes. The last thing you want is for the government to come after you for the taxes that you should be paying. While there are income guidelines as to what you are required to report to the Internally Generated Revenue Agencies, you still want to be prepared.
The thing about making a favorite hobby into a business venture is to be sure that you will still enjoy it even when you are making hundreds of them a week. Be prepared for popularity and know that you will still love doing what you do after you are successful.
The best part about making your beloved hobby into a business venture is that you will be your own boss! You can work when you want, rest when you want, and enjoy the fruits of your efforts.
Sometimes it might be overwhelming, so be sure that you have what it takes to withstand the pressure and continue even when you’re not really sure you want to!
I hope you find the course informative; the key is to make the ideas given here useful in the pursuit of your dream career or home-based (Turning-Your-Hobby-Into-Income-Earner) business. The wisest thing you can do is proceed to read the main book itself.
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