A Few LinkedIn Pointers for a Job Search

Do you have your professional LinkedIn profile posted? Even if you're not in an active job search, you still need a LinkedIn1787141145781871883 profile. Some people feel that all social media is an invasion of privacy. However, a LinkedIn presence has become a requisite career cornerstone. You may update your LinkedIn profile anytime you wish – and should. But there is so much more than your profile available to you through LinkedIn to increase your "findability" on the Internet.

Recruiters use LinkedIn as their Number One way to source job candidates for their client companies. Their preference is to find "passive" candidates; i.e., candidates not in an active job search, but interested in the "right" opportunities should they present themselves. Even if you are very happy with your current position, in this ever-churning economy, it is a good idea to have career options. You never know when your company may be sold or file for bankruptcy. You don't want to go down with a sinking ship! Your LinkedIn profile is a type of career insurance. With it, you'll always be "findable" on the Internet for hiring authorities seeking to fill new positions. (Did you realize that having no presence on the web is just as bad as a negative presence?)

Treat LinkedIn as your friend. Use it to build business relationships. Invite people to connect with you if you share a common career bond. Using the Groups feature helps you showcase your career expertise, as well as make new contacts. The Groups tab is found in the LinkedIn top menu line. Answer Group questions, and also ask your own. Besides joining and participating in Groups related to your career field, join a few local LinkedIn Groups where you may meet people face-to-face, even if they are not in your field. You never know who knows someone who knows someone. By the way, you'll find that many groups are open – meaning you don't have to be approved to join. Others are only available to you upon approval of your request to join. There is value for you in both types of Groups.

As a Kansas City Career Coach, I recommend the following LinkedIn Groups for relationship-building online and in person in the Greater Kansas City Area. Contact me if you know of others:

* Kansas City Live Networking
* Linked to KC
* Kansas City Networking Society

If you want to relocate to another part of the country, look for online LinkedIn Groups to join in that area. You may get job recommendations from Group members to pave the path to your new job before you physically relocate. When you make LinkedIn a part of your everyday social networking, you'll be surprised at the rewards you reap.

I would love to hear your comments on how you have used LinkedIn for your career. Please leave your comments below. For more great information, check out Inc. magazine's, "6 Steps to a More Marketable LinkedIn Profile." Another great resource is the book, I'm On LinkedIn, Now What?, by Jason Alba. This book can be found at Amazon.com.

Wishing you career success in 2012!


Abilities Enhanced Acquires KansasCityCareerServices

In January, Abilities Enhanced acquired the career coaching business, Kansas City Career Services. This purchase will help our company enhance our presence in the Kansas City area with its own website and new connections. It is with great enthusiasm that I announce this addition to our professional career coaching and resume writing services.

One new feature for Kansas City-based Career Chaos readers is a local blog that will feature Kansas City area job leads furnished by local HR professionals, recruiters and other reputable sources. At Abilities Enhanced, we want to help everyone who yearns for a job. This is our way of promoting employment for all!

In the days ahead you may see messages and activities that will work to link Kansas City Career Services to its parent, Abilities Enhanced. After all, we work in a global space where even Kansas City employees are affected by workplace practices throughout the nation and the world.

I look forwarded to communicating more personally with Kansas City careerists who seek that special place made just for them in the "right" workplace.

Wishing you career success in 2012!


Take a Chance: Let Your “Snowflake” Shine

"Know Thyself." William Shakespeare

As the first chilly day of fall arrives, my thoughts wander ahead to the snow to come – not too far into the future, I fear. Have you ever seen a magnified snowflake? Or compared two magnified snowflakes next to each other? While appearing the same to the human eye, when examined under a microscope, each Snowflakesnowflake is very different from the other. Look closely at the design and makeup of each – can you see the unique pieces?

Like snowflakes, each of us is unique, though similar, to all others. It is our uniqueness that we celebrate while honoring all people's similarities and diversity. There's so much discussion these days about "fitting in" and "being part of a team." Yes, we operate in many societies – family, workplace, associations, clubs, churches, and more. Being able to blend smoothly is a big part of success inside these groups. But don't forget that there are still some things that we have to do alone, things that require us to call upon our uniqueness. While birth and death first come to mind as totally alone activities, another that requires our unique abilities is changing careers or finding a new job.

I think that's why job seekers find job search such a challenge. Job search is a lonely activity. It requires self-motivation, perseverance, and commitment with little reward from anyone but yourself. YOU have to research companies; YOU have to choose the companies for resume submission; YOU have to prepare for job interviews and then go to them alone!

Just for fun, try doing a mind map of your personal "snowflake." Start with listing your values – those things that must be honored at work for you to be happy with your job. Then, list your motivators – what makes you want to get up and go to work in the first place? Finally, what are your deal-breakers – those things that are non-negotiable at work (e.g., overtime hours, benefits, paid holidays, minimum salary, travel, etc.)? Now, what does your snowflake (mind map) look like?

NOTE: Be careful when listing your deal-breakers. Make sure they are really non-negotiable. Sometimes we have a tendency to feel we can't live without something, when in reality, that's just a preference, not a deal-breaker.

If you discover that your current career or job does not match your snowflake profile, zero in on those things that need to change in order for you to have a complete fit. If you can make those changes by yourself in your current role, fine. If not, it's time to start your discovery process to find your ideal career or job. For most of us, we are our worst enemy when it comes to change. It's easier to blame outside conditions rather than accept the responsibility to proactively change. Even if we hurt, that feeling is familiar, so therefore, comfortable. Change is risky – not at all comfortable – but very doable.

A career coach is your ideal partner when it comes to career reinvention. And Fall is the best time of the year to invest in the career change process. Get your career in gear for the new year! When 2012 arrives, you'll be glad you took this time.

Wishing you career success in 2012!


Sink or Swim in Social Media

>>Social media is instrumental in changing lives around the world. Country revolutions have been organized using Twitter, birthday parties are overrun with guests who see an invitation someone forgot to make private on Facebook, and yes, even jobs are being landed through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. While Gen X and Gen Y (and even younger) persons have smartphones attached to their bodies like a new appendage, Baby Boomers and others are asking, "What's all the hoopla about?"

>>We've entered a new age: no longer the age of Aquarius, now the age of "being found." In other words, in order to connect with anyone for almost any purpose, you need to have an online or Internet presence. This is particularly true for job seekers who just want a new job. When a recruiter or hiring authority has a job to fill, they first go to the Internet to look for viable candidates. Recruiters notoriously go to LinkedIn, human resource personnel will do a Google search, even Craig's list is being used as a candidate source.

>>What's interesting is how Twitter has taken off as a place to find candidates. My belief is that hiring authorities, in all their wisdom, want to get to know the "real" person before scheduling a job interview. So, they read a candidate's tweets which often reveal personal information that cannot be asked in a formal job interview. Scary, huh? (If you don't know what digital dirt is, Google the term and learn how to clean up yours if you are in a job search.)
>>Twitter encourages you to join special groups for online chats, find new people to follow with your interests, create lists of these people organized by categories for easy access to their tweets, share digital photos of whomever or whatever you wish, and much more.
>>LinkedIn and Twitter are my social media tools of choice when it comes to job search. LinkedIn is a very professional program where you post your profile including employment history. This service may be utilized for no cost. To "get found" there by hiring authorities, you'll want to join a few relevant discussion groups where you ask and answer questions related to your field of work – spotlight your expertise. Also, take advantage of the "answers" feature which everyone can see, not just your official connections. Books have been written about using LinkedIn. One of my favorites is: I'm on LinkedIn – Now What? by Jason Alba.
>>Twitter is more informal than LinkedIn. You set up your account with a brief public profile, and now you're ready to share all kinds of information with anyone who will follow you. If you want to use Twitter while in a job search, be sure your tweets are on the professional side, not too opinionated, and never, ever full of inappropriate language or photos (just ask Rep. Weiner about that!). Make sure you choose a branded approach to your tweets to enhance your reputation. Look for people to follow that will help you with their careerist expertise, company connections, and job search leads. Make sharing your goal – not always asking for help. Social media is somewhat of a passive activity, so remember that what goes around, will come around back to you. One of my favorite books on using Twitter is the Twitter Job Search Guide, by Susan Britton Whitcomb, et al.
>>So what's holding you back from getting on the social media bandwagon? Don't be afraid to jump on – you really need to get involved to enhance your job search activities. And don't forget to download your social media programs to your smartphone where you may access them at any time. Happy tweeting, and all that other stuff!

Wishing you career success in 2011!

SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Please follow our hash-tag on Twitter – #careercollective – as well as follow each expert's individual tweet on this month's topic of "Social media – how to use it in a job search, how to get started, do's and don'ts." You'll be amazed at all the free career advice and knowledge that is available to you from these professionals in the careers field.

Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana

You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen

How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman

Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman

Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy

Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland

We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee

Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan

Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal

Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa

How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers

Social Media: So what's the point?, @DawnBugni

Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllnes

HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist

Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice

Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords

Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach

Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson

Career Digital Continues to Grow

In December, I blogged about the launch of Career Digital and my participation in this career blogging site. A couple of months later, this site continues to grow. Check it out for the latest blogs from your favorite careers experts!

I am so proud to be an affiliate of Career Digital, a new online site featuring "Career Insights and Advice," a comprehensive compilation of blog posts by today's careers experts. Offering all of the important categories for CareerDigitallogo job seekers and careerists, this site will help you conduct your job search and manage your career. 

With navigation ease, you may search by pertinent topic and get linked to careers experts blogs. Headlines clue you in to the information each blog post presents. No need to look further – now you may find answers to all you career questions in one place.

Career Digital launches today! Do yourself a favor and check it out!

You may even search the site from this blog! Just scroll down a bit.

Wishing you career success in 2011!


Over 50 and Intimidated By a Job Search?

Finding a job over 50 is an "individual" process, not a group one. If you are a job-seeking boomer, quit paying attention to all the surveys and statistics! Instead, focus on your attitude, put a smile on your face, and build those critical business relationships. Sure, polishing your appearance can help with your face-to-face encounters, e.g., a professional hair style, fashionable clothes, weight loss, etc. And projecting your self-confidence with technology is important. But otherwise, it's still about the unique value you have in order to solve a potential employer's problems – what employers seek from every job candidate regardless of age.

After reading "4 Ways to Stay Employed After Age 50" (US News & World Report, 1-13-11), I once again felt annoyed by all the statistics. When job seekers' lives are boiled down into numbers, hope drains from the collective psyche of boomer readers everywhere. I see here another reason to turn off the tube and dial back the volume of media. Statistics are only numbers – numbers that include EVERYONE in a certain class, not reflective of individuals.

Each person is unique in who they are and what they offer to a potential employer. Become an expert at selling your potential as well as your experience. Research business trends and get comfortable discussing them in terms of your career target. Know that we exist in a rapidly changing world and embrace that fact! The over 50 job seekers who refuse to change, insisting that their way is always the right way, will NOT get where they want to go. They will be labeled as dinosaurs as they live up to their stereotype.

Age advantage book A great resource to help you, the boomer job seeker, is a book by Jean Erickson Walker, The Age Advantage: Making the Most of Your Mid-life Career Transition. Buy it or get it from your library. This is a must-read to help you clearly see all your options for finding a job, the right job for you.

Wishing you career success in 2011!


2011 Employment Trends Supercharged with Twitter

One thing I always advise my career coaching clients:

"Don't assume a hiring authority will understand your company-speak. Use generic words to spell out your skills and experience. On your resume and in your job interview, demonstrate your job hisory with terms that are easily translated into how you can meet an employer's needs."

Even though I espouse "don't assume" in my professional career coaching advice, I sometimes catch myself doing just what I advise against. Let me explain.

Active on Twitter for two years, I tend to assume everyone else knows all about Twitter and its far-reaching capabilities. Wrong! Some career coaching clients have never heard of it, and many don't see its value in helping them with their careers. Last year "The Twitter Job Search Guide" by Susan Britton Whitcomb et al was published. It offers to help you "find a job and advance your career in just 15 minutes a day." If you don't have this book, get it! You won't be sorry! (A few of my tweets even made it into the final draft!)

My 2011 career coaching prediction:

***Twitter will become one of 2011's most-used job search tools – online or off.***

Not only can you find tweets that offer a wide-range of information on job search strategies from careersTwitter1gif  experts, it has many users who post quality job openings in a wide range of fields. Recruiters tweet, as do career coaches and consultants, job board owners, and job seekers themselves. The key to Twitter success for a career changer or job seeker entering this new online world is to quickly determine the best "experts" to follow. Then, create specialized lists for each group of experts that you can easily track. And when you start to post your own tweets (which I know you will want to do – it's contagious!), make sure you act as a true professional to keep all that digital dirt at bay.

I spent this morning reviewing my December 2010 tweets with the intention of sharing some predicted 2011 trends with you. But I've come to the conclusion that the real story here isn't the list of employment trends below, but the online technology that enables me to quickly produce this list! (Follow me on Twitter @KCCareerCoach.)

Here are 15+ of my tweeted career-related trends moving into 2011:Happy.new.year

1) 84% of working individuals plan to find a new job in 2011. http://bit.ly/gjKo8l
1a) Almost half of British workers are fed up in their jobs. http://bit.ly/ejIgwa

2) Companies may lose top talent as economy recovers. http://bit.ly/gMVsNi

3) 86% of Recruiters Use Social Media. http://bit.ly/9l2BhC

4) One third of U.S. workforce now composed of non-traditional contract workers. http://bit.ly/eMomtr

5) Baby boomers drive change to career services. http://bit.ly/h60bGf

6) Why U.S. companies are reluctant to start hiring. http://bit.ly/dXycOs

7) Survey results: Of workers laid off earlier in 2010 & found new jobs, 61% took pay cuts. http://bit.ly/e06Opt

8) Prediction & hot IT jobs: "In 2011 expect (digital resumes) to become standard for hiring short or long-term employees" http://bit.ly/hnxAB9

9) Companies hire detectives to check out employees playing "hooky." http://yhoo.it/gaSiPz

10) Digital Dirt continues to strike! "Happy about getting laid off? Don't tell Facebook" http://on.msnbc.com/f3X9lx

11) 72% Americans expect to work through retirement, 39% because they have to & 33% because they want to. http://bit.ly/ictjAS

12) Detailed 2011 professional trends report: "Robert Half Professional Employment Report" http://bit.ly/ff2PFh

13) Rising unemployment among less-educated U.S. men part of longer-term trend. http://bit.ly/fmBLW3

14) Fewer people insured by employers. http://on.today.com/dFoHFI

15) Employers Won't Hire The Jobless Because Of The "Desperate Vibe." http://huff.to/e7Fl8t

What you do with this employment and career information is up to you. Please just keep in mind that it is all based on generalities. You are a very unique individual. As such, you have the power to defy all odds when you work from a carefully constructed career plan. Just take the first step and make that plan!

Wishing you ultimate career success in 2011!


Career-Collective-original-small SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Please follow our hash-tag on Twitter – #careercollective  as well as follow each expert's individual tweet on this month's topic of "Things job seekers should keep an eye on in 2011 (trends/tools/hiring practices). You'll be amazed at all the free career advice and knowledge that is available to you from these professionals in the careers field!

Social Media Recruiting to Grow Further in 2011, @debrawheatman

Another Year, Another Job Search Begins, @GayleHoward

In 2011, Increase Your Prospects With Better Differentiation, @WalterAkana

4 Lessons Learned From Job Search in 2010, @Careersherpa

Your Career Action Plan for the New Year, @KatCareerGal

Trends Job Seekers Should Look For in 2011, @erinkennedycprw

Things Every Job Seeker Should be Thinking About in 2011, @expatcoachmegan

Let your presence be known or send out a red flag, @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes

How to find a job in 2011: Pay attention to emotional intelligence, @Keppie_Careers

2011 Employment Trends Supercharged with Twitter, @KCCareerCoach

3 Traits for Facing Weather, Employment and Chronic Illness, @WorkWithIllness

Everything old is new again @DawnBugni

Career Trend 2011: Accountability + Possibility = Sustainability, @ValueIntoWords

Career Tools to Check Out in 2011, @barbarasafani

What Was in 2010, What To Expect in 2011, @chandlee

The Future of Job Search: 3 Predictions and 2 Wishes, @JobHuntOrg

Four Ways to Make Sure Your Education Gives You A Good ROI

Teenagers are faced with making huge decisions including - how much loan debt do I want to incur as I go off to college? My guest blogger for this month tackles this problem in her post below. Hope it resonates. Meg

For graduating high school students, college offers a myriad of opportunities. In college, students can earn a degree that will ideally prepare them for a lucrative career. They can take classes that appeal to their specific tastes and interests. College studentThey can join and develop a powerful social network that will both bring them great friendships and provide them with professional contacts.

Unfortunately, with a college education also comes a higher cost. Tuition is rising and the interest rates on educational loans are higher. Nowadays, college graduates need to evaluate these costs and make sure they can get a good return on their investment. Many are, in fact, doing so, as recent studies show that less college seniors major in the humanities because these degrees offer them a lower earning potential in their career.

So, in this new and costly educational environment, what sort of advice can we offer to incoming college freshmen?

Research, Research, Research

College students should research their career options as early as possible in order to figure out what careers might offer them a better income. By figuring this out, they can plan a college path that gets them a degree that qualifies them for that career field. They have, of course, many resources available to them, the career services office being the most obvious.

Another great resource is the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which gathers career data on income and job opportunities into a handbook online. Students can browse the careers or search for one to see what kind of options these careers may give them and what kinds of degrees and qualifications they’ll need to have in order to get the best job they can get. Such research could further help them decide if they need to pursue a graduate degree or not.

Select the Right Major

Once students have done their research, they need to weigh their career goals with their own desires to pursue what interests them the most. If they can find a major that prepares them for the right career while also allowing them to study what interests them, then that’s perfect. Most likely, however, they’ll need to make a decision. Do they major in a field that could get them a great job? Or do they major in a field that is really interesting to them, but might not be the best option for their career? I don’t know what others think, but my advice is that graduates should strive to prepare for a strong career. Doing so will allow them to earn an income that would allow them to pursue their interests on the side.

Enjoy Electives

If college students follow my advice, they should still be able to take classes that seem interesting to them. Many colleges require students to earn elective course credits. This will give students an opportunity to take classes in subject areas unrelated to their major, but still on a topic that really interests them. It’s a way to get that emotional and intellectual return on their investment, so to speak, while still giving them a good financial future.

Be Careful With Debt

Finally, college students should be careful with the kinds of debt they go into. Although this point deserves its own post, I can offer a little basic advice. At some point, college students will have to consider whether or not they should take on some debt in order to fund their education. If they have picked a major that promises them a good earning potential, then debt may be a possibility and worth the risk. However, if the major doesn’t necessarily offer the financial return, then debt will surely add to the stress.

The important thing to do as a college student about to go into debt is to manage that risk.

This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of top online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katewillson2@gmail.com.

A Self-Empowering Job Search Resource

When job seekers think of resources to help them find a job, they usually focus on external options, such as job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter, career coaches, resume writers, and more. However, after trying and not winning the game of finding a job after an endless length of time, despair and discouragement can set in. Maybe now is the time to look at resources to assist your internal process.

Journaling is such a resource. When frustration and defeat dominate your thoughts, they can overflow into your actions causing inactivity – the biggest enemy of your finding a job. If you want to work on your inner thoughts and feelings, start keeping a journal. Writing about what's going on with you – inside and out – can help you manage it all so much better. Journaling is an easy-to-use self-empowerment tool – give it a try!

Here's a quote from Steve Pavlina's blog, "Personal Development for Smart People," that summarizes quite well how journaling helps:

"While your brain is technically capable of processing a great deal of input simultaneously, your conscious thoughts play out in a certain sequence. One thought triggers the next, which triggers the next, and so on. Sometimes these sequences have a few branches, but they’re still subject to linear time, and at any given moment, you’re following one of those branches. These thought sequences have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it’s nearly impossible to see the big picture overhead view of a sequence while you’re stuck in playback mode.

This is where journaling can provide huge advantages. Journaling allows you to break free of sequential thinking and examine your thoughts from a bird’s-eye view. When you record your sequential thoughts in a tangible medium, you can then go back and review those thoughts from a third-person perspective. While you’re recording the thoughts, you’re in first-person mode. But when you’re reading them, you can remain dissociated instead of associated. This dissociative view, when combined with what you’ve already learned from the associative view, will bring you much closer to seeing the truth of your situation."

Until recently, there were only a couple of ways to journal – write by hand in a notebook or type a Word document and save it on your computer. Now there is a third option: participate in an online community where journal topics are even provided for you to help sort out your thoughts.

Last week Abilities Enhanced launched a free Career Community where after you join you will receive a free 52-week journal. A public forum and Abilities Enhanced newsletter are also included in the program. Of course, Career Coach comments from me are part of your membership. You may choose the level of privacy you wish to maintain and how much you want to interact with your peers.

As our career community grows, I will be adding paid options to enhance your experience. But for now, there's a lot to do that doesn't cost a dime – perfect for the unemployed job seeker. However, journaling is really for everyone involved in career management.

To join, click on the link below that will take you to a shopping cart where the purchase price is $0. Following a couple of thank you's, you'll receive a "Next steps" email from me with a link that takes you to the actual AE Career Community site where you'll need to set up your profile to become a member. This is a critical step – you have to set up your profile before the career community will let you participate.

(Note: if you are a career coach and want to join, please do! The free option is open to all.)

Here is the link to get you started:


Happy journaling – hope to see you in the AE Career Community soon! And, please, let me know if you have any questions.

Wishing you career success in 2010!


SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who will each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to   their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Follow our hash-tag on Twitter - #careercollective  as well as follow everyone's individual tweets on this month's topic: "Favorite Resources for Job Seekers."

 Career Collective Posts for September 2010:

Career-Collective-original-small If your industry does not participate online, you can lead the way, @Keppie_Careers 

6 Ideas to Put In Your Toolbox, @WorkWithIllness,

Your Best Job Search Resource? You!, @WalterAkana

In a Job Search, Knowledge is Power, @barbarasafani

Jump Start Your Job Search Now!, @resumeservice

Favourite Resources for Jobseekers, @GayleHoward

The Best Job Search Tool Ever, @careersherpa

Find What You Do Best, Know Your Stuff, and Connect, @chandlee

27 Recommended Blogs for Entry-Level Job Seekers, @heatherhuhman

Invaluable Resources for Job Search Success, @heathermundell

Favorite Social-Media Resources for Job-seekers, @KatCareerGal

Canadian Resources for Job Seekers, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland

A Self-Empowering Job Search Resource, @KCCareerCoach

Covering your bases: 5 ultra-useful online career resources, @LaurieBerenson

Favorite resources for Job seekers, @DawnBugni

Top 3 Resources for Job Seekers to Position Themselves as Experts and Increase their Visibility, @expatcoachmegan

Time as a Career Resource: How "Not" to Squander It, @ValueIntoWords

Favorite Internet Resources for Jobseekers, @ErinKennedyCPRW

The Facts Behind Why LinkUp Is the Most Revolutionary Job Search Engine Available to Job Seekers, @GLHoffman

How to Make a #Career Change Doable for You

Ready for a career change, but not sure just what?

A first step is to get back in touch with what goes on in the world beyond your current workspace. Start by reading recent business magazines such as Forbes or Fortune and BusinesswWeek. Include the Wall Street Journal AND the New York Times. Discover the current trends in your industry, in your field, in the world. Reflect on how these trends will affect your current career, and on how the skills you already have can impact these trends. When contemplating a career change, think about what your choice will look like 5-10 years from now. It's important to select a career you can grow into and thrive in.

Next, after looking forward, take a peek back at your early life. What dreams did you have as a child that you tossed out along the way? Music, art, school newspaper, team sports, "playing school" with your siblings – all offer clues to what your true passion may be. For example, if you liked to play on the soccer team instead of painting landscapes, you may now prefer working on group projects instead of being a freelance web designer.

Finally, after coming up with a few career change possibilities, talk to some people who actually work in those careers. Find out what they like and dislike about their work. And ask them whether they chose their careers, or fell into them as careers by default. Imagine yourself working in these careers through their stories.

Cheetah_Running_on_a_Treadmill_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_081030-111673-554009As you can see, changing careers is not a simple process. It may take weeks, even months, to realize results that can shape your decision. But if you have defined steps and a career action plan, you will be able to get off that treadmill in your head and actually see some progress. It's never too late to start the career change process. It's your choice as to when you are ready to begin. Working with a professional Career Coach can make it easier.

Wishing you career success in 2010!