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    Considering a Career Change? Here’s 13 Ways to Get Started

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    13 Ways to Start a Career Change - Expert Q&AWe asked career coaches, resume writers and other related pros for advice on their favorite first steps for job seekers who want to make a career change but don’t know where to start.

    Their ideas are not only insightful but practical, and you can read all 13 below.

    How to begin a career change, even when you don’t know where to start:


    Athena Ali“Do a deep dive into your values. If you don’t know what they are, take your time doing this exercise with the assistance of a coach. Discovering what lights you up in life or what you’re passionate about really narrows down where you should focus your energy and talents.”

    – Athena Ali, The Get Noticed Coach


    Tim Cunninham“Identify the kind of work you want to do. Once you know that, find a resume writer who can show how the skills you picked up in your former or current employment will make you an asset in your new role.”

    – Tim Cunningham, Fast & Focused Resume Service


    Debbie Marshall headshot“Assessments and coaching to make sure they head out in the right direction. If you don’t have a target, you definitely won’t hit it. An ‘I’m open to anything’ strategy will fail.”

    – Debbie Marshall, Thrive Consulting


    Alejandro Motta“Find a mentor. Find someone who is where you want to be or has walked the same way you’re trying to go. They will guide you with insights and first-hand advice. They will open the door to networking in the field you want to enter. But take into account that mentoring is a two-way street. A mentor can help you, but you should be willing to collaborate with them.”

    – Alejandro Motta, RedacciónCV


    Ari Shaffer headshot“I encourage clients to tap into their creative side which tends to be more open to synchronicities. In networking, this is everything. You’ll find unexpected opportunities opening up as well as new paths to explore. Through this approach, job seekers tend to come across to employers as relaxed, confident, and innovative. And they tend to find jobs that fit them like a glove. ”

    – Ari Shaffer, MSE, Ari Shaffer Coaching & Consulting


    Angela Watts headshot“Determine if you want to change your field, your industry or both. The most difficult move will be the latter. Formalize your interests, strengths and ideal work environment to help discern which elements influence your overall job satisfaction.”

    – Angela Watts, MyPro Resumes & Recruiting


    Tammeca Riley“I refer clients to take an assessment using the O*Net Interest Profiler [mynextmove.org by the Department of Labor to identify which career paths align with their interests and skills.”

    – Tammeca Riley, Infinite Potential Résumés


    Clair Levy“Identify your skills and interests: Start by taking stock of your skills and interests and consider how they could translate to a new career. You can take online assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Strong Interest Inventory, to help identify your strengths and interests. Type in key words in quotes on the indeed.com or in jobs section of LinkedIn spark some ideas.”

    – Clair Levy, Precision Resumes Solutions


    Jane Roqueplot“Without a doubt, hire an Authorized DISC Administrator and Behavioral Consultant with ProfilingPro, so you can take a Career Management DISC Assessment and do the career exploration process to select the job titles that match all your criteria based on the results of the assessment.”

    – Jane Roqueplot, JaneCo’s Sensible Solutions


    Myriam-Rose Kohn“I do career exploration first with my clients. The first question, however, is always what did you want to do as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up?”

    – Myriam-Rose Kohn, Reimagine Your Career


    Betsy Shephard Reed“Gather data! It’s difficult pursuing a change if you’re in an echo chamber surrounded only by information you already know! Select a few possible options and start to gather data through reading job ads to find out what skills, knowledge, experience and education/certifications trends you see between different advertised roles.”

    – Betsy Shepard Reed, BSR Career Development


    Gina Christiano“Create a plan for discovering your ideal job. Begin by making a list of your values and interests, and researching companies and job titles that match. Then, initiate informational interviews to learn more about these potential career paths. Finally, compare the results from your research and interviews, and assess which job opportunities suit your preferences best.”

    – Gina Christiano, GC Career Consulting


    Laura DeCarlo“As a starter or after taking a career assessment with a coach that gives you ideas, you can expand on this quickly by using AI such as ChatGPT. With your free chat bot account you can just enter a prompt such as: ‘What are the top jobs for people with experience in X’ or ‘Here is my current job description.). What other jobs should I consider (Paste in your job description.’ Don’t be afraid to get creative and once you have a list you can start researching further.”

    – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International


    What this means to starting your career change:

    Life is short so it’s important to go after a fulfilling career. But career change rarely happen by chance and requires you to take steps to make it happen. We can’t encourage you enough to start taking those steps today, especially if your in a dead-end job, burnt out, or feeling like something is missing.

    Our experts agree that while there are a lot of valuable tools to help you examine your skills and values, and find career options to explore, working with a professional can help you make better sense of those assessments. There’s also consensus that working with a career professional can help you narrow down those tools to the best ones for you. A professional can provide perspective and clarity as well as help expedite your job search and make it more successful.

    Need help taking this important step?

    CDI is a global professional association of the industry’s top resume writers, career coaches and other career professionals. Our robust directory will let you search for the perfect practitioner to make your successful transition. Each of the participating professionals featured in this post can be reached via their links or by searching the directory.

    Find a career professional to assist you now >>


    Special thanks to Ari Shaffer, MSE of Ari Shaffer Coaching & Consulting for curating these tips.

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