Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

May 1st, 2017

Your professional interests have expanded far beyond your current career path, and it’s time for a change. Where do you start?

If you’re not sure how to begin changing careers, an assessment of your current skills may be in order. Maybe there is another career path you could take using some or all of the skills you already have. Some professional advice could help you determine whether your skills will transfer to another occupation.

How Much of a Change is Needed?

Building on existing skills may be the easiest or fastest way to change careers, but it may not be the most desirable if you can’t get enough of a change that way. One way to determine whether a different job will be better for you is to try to get a few informational interviews to see what it’s really like to do that job.

Fools Rush In

Jumping into a new career before taking the time to investigate it thoroughly may lead to a situation where when the newness wears off, you end up in the same unhappy place you are now, and you have to undergo the process of changing careers all over again.

Taking your time to investigate different careers and find out what they are really like will prevent a repeat of history and help you to determine what career will actually make you happy in the long run. If you’re planning a career change, a good rule of thumb is to always think about your long-term goals and happiness.

What’s Driving the Change?

In all career changes, one or a few factors are really driving the change. Determining what those factors are will help you know what to pursue and what to avoid as a career going forward. If you are burned out from constantly dealing with people, you will not want to become a social worker or counselor or teacher. On the other hand, if your current career is so isolating that you feel lonely, a job where you have more contact with people may be just what you need.

Other aspects of a career worth considering may be the salary, the level of stress or pressure involved, and whether there are quotas or sales requirements involved. Unless a higher salary is an absolute need, don’t be afraid to start in an entry-level position and work your way up as time goes on.

For some careers, you may be able to get your prospective employer to provide some of the training you need for your new career. If you do need additional training, however, CCSU offers many different continuing education courses that can provide needed skills for many of the most sought-after careers today. View open courses to see if you can benefit from skills training we offer.