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Second Careers: 10 Steps to Beginning a New Career

Dec 01, 2010

Do you feel stuck in a rut? Maybe your current job just doesn't fulfill you in ways that it used to. Or perhaps you'd simply like to try another line of work that interests you. Whatever the case, launching a second career demands a lot of preparation. Learn steps you can take to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.

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second career tips advice

1. Know what you want

Start by thinking about what it is you want to do in a second career. Maybe you have a long-held passion you could incorporate into your professional life. Whether it's literature, cooking, computers or something else, there are related jobs you can pursue.

2. Think about your skills

While making your plans, it's a good idea to consider your personal and professional strengths. What abilities can you utilize to give yourself the best chance of success in a new career? Building on these skills can help make sure you never regret your choice.

3. Explore what's out there

Landing that 'dream job' can be pretty difficult if there aren't many positions available in the career area that interests you. That doesn't have to stop you from going for it, but it's important to know what you're in for. You may have to make sacrifices for your goal.

4. Look at your finances

An important question in considering a second career is whether you can afford the move. It's possible you may be unemployed or make less money as you start out in a new profession. Does your household budget allow for that?

5. Do your research

Sometimes a job sounds a lot better to a person than it actually turns out to be. You can avoid 'worker's remorse' by being fully informed about a profession before taking the leap. Ask people employed in your desired field about its positive and negative aspects, or see if you can shadow a professional for the day.

second career tips advice

6. Plan a course

After getting information on second career options, you can map out actions for reaching your goals. Remember that preparation is the biggest indicator of success for those who transition to new jobs. Ready yourself for what's ahead.

7. Get educated

Often pursuing a new career will require you to get additional training. Maybe you'll have to go back to school for another degree or develop technical skills for your future job. Make sure to factor these educational endeavors into your planning.

8. Connect with others

In the current floundering economy, opportunities are more limited than ever. Increase the chances that you'll find something by networking with people in your social and professional circles. Establish connections with those who may be able to assist you.

9. Volunteer

No matter how well you prepare, it can be difficult to get a start in a new career area. Jobs may be scarce, or you might be passed over for those with more experience. Utilizing your professional skills in a volunteer capacity is one way to develop experience of your own.

10. Get to work

Congratulations - you've at last landed that dream job. The most difficult part done, it's time to really go after your professional goals. Move forward with pride in your success in making a second career a reality, and be ready to work hard for what you want.

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