It begins with a quick and easy questionnaire to determine whether you need a new job (or just a new therapist-Ha!) or a new career. Solid reasons for a career switch include wanting a more creative, analytic, and/or management-oriented position; wanting to live in a location that does not accommodate your current career; and wanting more flexibility and/or fewer hours.
So let’s say you have determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are in the market for a new career. What now? Even if you know or have an idea of what that career would be, taking (pro)active steps to that goal is another question entirely. Begin with your resume. Including a link to their article, Rebuild Your Resume, you’ll find other helpful tips.
When working toward a career removed from your current or past occupations, focus on achieved results rather than on specific job responsibilities. Instead of saying that you sold a particular kind of merchandise, say that you were named as the top salesperson, generating revenues of $20K, for example. In this way, you will demonstrate the right combination of talent and skills, even without specific experience in that industry.
Avoid looking like a job-hopper and hold each job for at least a year before you consider a change. Employers avoid candidates who switch more often because they are seen as unreliable. Particularly in this market, if you have been at your position for under a year, it may be preferable to wait before making a career switch.
One final bit of advise for the job seekers out there: Don’t bore your next employer with your layoff story. While you may think that such a tale would gain you sympathy points in the least, in this climate, it may be seen as whining or overly dwelling. The fact is, many of your fellow candidates will have similar stories. Rely on the reasons why you would be a strong choice for this position, not the sad reasons you left your last one.