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March 6, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

Re-careering: Is it time for you to say goodbye to your lackluster career?

Working men and women of all ages are reconsidering their original career choice. However, re-careering isn’t simply changing jobs or companies. That is done numerous times throughout a person’s professional lifetime. On average, baby boomers have held 11 jobs from ages 18 to 46, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Re-careering involves shifting the core focus of a job from finance to physical therapy or from dietetics to marketing, for example. If you are considering re-careering consider the following:

Reflect
Before you make the bold leap and leave behind a career, be sure that is truly what you want. Whether it has been your career for four years or 25 years, give yourself a job seeker self assessment before you settle on your decision to switch careers. You may simply be unsatisfied in your current role and relocation to a different company or adding responsibilities to your job description may fill the void. Don’t make the decision in haste because you may end up signing up for more than you bargained for.

What will it take?
Re-careering can be an invaluable move for someone who is searching for a job that better aligns with their passion or interest, but it can also be a lot of work. Most people do not just effortlessly transition from an old career to a new one. Consider, will you need to go back to school? Have additional training? Relocate? Is the industry hiring and will the new salary will fit your financial needs? Some careers may take larger financial or time commitments than others, so you should be sure to fully assess the situation before deciding on your next career path. You will likely need more than a passion for the field to break your way in.

Test the waters
Before you make any large investments, survey the professional landscape. Network with individuals in the field, take any preliminary training or delve into some industry reading. Once you have a solid understanding of what to expect and you are sure that you want to make the switch, you can rebrand your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect the skills sought after in your new career.

Be patient
If you are confident that you want to make the switch, don’t get discouraged. It may take some time to do so. You will have to work your way into the profession and you may not land the position you want right out of the gate. But if you are passionate about your new career choice and are working toward your aim, you are right where you need to be.

Have you wanted to change careers? If so, what did you learn in the process? Please share your experience with re-careering in the “comments” section.