Exploring All Your Options

Whether you are looking for new job or have been in the same career for twenty years, it is still important to explore your options.

Start with some self-assessment:

* Make a list of your interests and values. Compare these to your current situation.

* Then make a list of your most important skills. Prioritize them in an order where the ones you most enjoy using are at the top.

* Make a list of skills you want to learn or training that interests you.

* Write down all your past and present jobs. Under each one, identify what you liked most and least about each one.

* Write out a description of your dream job. Make a list of the specifics of the job that make it your “dream.”

Then use this to evaluate:

* Take the time to learn about three new jobs or career fields you have always been interested in, but know nothing about. Find out what skills are needed. What education or training is required. Try to meet people in those jobs.

* Schedule time in your week for this exploration; determine set hours and days you will spend researching.

* Look for information seminars, trade shows or conferences in these fields that interest you and try to attend. Subscribe to a trade journal for these professions.

* Check the Internet. Are there forums or websites geared toward these careers? Start visiting them.

* Once you are comfortable with the idea of taking on a new career, start talking to others. Ask trusted friends and mentors for opinions. Look for support and ask many questions.

Once you have gone through this process, you may decide to change directions or stay where you are. The key is to evaluate and explore your options on a regular basis. It certainly gives you a healthy dose of perspective and you may even open up the door to a new opportunity.

Related Articles:

*More Career Switching in the Later Years

*Switching Careers Later in Life

*Job Security