Do you have a good job but feel you might be happier in another line of work? Perhaps you are a victim of downsizing or corporate restructuring. Maybe when you were young, you wanted to follow a particular career path, but circumstances force you to settle for something else. Getting older, you realize that you have the power to fulfill those youthful dreams to become an engineer or manager, or to get an education so you can change careers.

You want something new, a job that will satisfy you, but you may have responsibilities – such as a family to support. That makes changing careers or getting the education needed to do so, challenging. It’s time to turn those regrets into actions. If you are not happy with your current work situation, not making a career change may be hazardous to your health. According to Career Design Associates Inc., career dissatisfaction in its extreme form is related to early mortality. It’s more dangerous to your health than smoking four packs of cigarettes a day. So don’t be like millions of Americans in thousands of companies across the country who every day repeat what they see as meaningless tasks with no hope of change.

Differing Goals

You may be tired of working on the loading dock because you know you are working below your potential. But not everyone looking to change careers wants to climb the ladder to higher pay and more responsibility. You may wish to leave the corporate rat race behind for a more enjoyable, less-demanding job that gives you more time for your family, civic work, and hobbies. It is much harder to change careers at the higher-level professions; wouldn’t you rather be like that successful person who loves his or her work or those people you admire who seem to have it all? You can! Changing to a more satisfying career doesn’t have to be a pipe dream.

To accomplish this change, you must still follow some necessary steps. First, you must decide on your new career. Next, you must get retrained if your original choice requires it. And then, you must know how to present yourself to your prospective employer via a compelling resume.

Am I feeling overwhelmed at the amount of work to be done? Don’t be. Thanks to the power of the Internet, you can do some of the work required for a career change without leaving home.

Discovering Your Passion

Too often, people accept jobs in companies just because the company happens to be hiring, and the situation seems to be something they might like. These people haven’t given a lot of thought to whether or not those jobs suit their ambitions. The result is career unrest.

Have you talked to entrepreneurs and wondered how they could spend hours and hours at work and enjoy every minute? The secret that entrepreneurs have isn’t a secret – it’s a basic premise: Do what you love and love what you do. Entrepreneurs identify their life’s passion and find a way to make money at it —the first step you must take and then determine your love.

You will need to learn about yourself, your personality, tendencies, interests, skills, values, and needs. Are you in the wrong career or just working for the wrong company? A career satisfaction survey may help you identify whether or not you are satisfied with your job or career and provide clues to the source of any unrest or dissatisfaction. Such a survey will help you find out who you are, define your capabilities and track future trends in various career paths. It will also evaluate your options for long-term focus and direction, and develop and implement strategies for achieving your goals. The Internet can help with all these tasks.

Also, to going online, you may want to get a career coach. Unlike a traditional career counsellor, a career coach looks at the whole person. The coach has specialized training to act as your partner in helping you find out what you want to do with your life, taking into account personal, family and business aspects. He or she will help you identify your core interests, talents, values, skills, and passions, and integrate these into a viable career path.

A career coach can help you save hours of time and energy as you look for job opportunities. A career coach can help you discover the required job skills for the new millennium and identify with the highest growth rate over the next decade. A career coach can help you learn where to search for employment opportunities, and help you plan your future with confidence so you can make your dreams a reality.

A coach also makes it easier for you to stay focused on your goals so you can reach them faster than you would on your own. A coach listens, offers advice, encourages, and challenges you. To find career counsellors, bring up a search engine in your Internet browser and type the keywords career counselling.

Getting Retrained

If you are in a profession that now has fewer jobs as a result of steady corporate downsizing, finding a position in that field will naturally be more difficult because of greater competition. You may have the same skill set as other applicants, but if those competitors have a job-related degree, and you don’t, this may result in their getting chosen for the position over you.

Don’t despair. Whether you live in Manhattan or on a ranch in Wyoming or whether you just travel too much to attend class at a campus, you can get retrained over the Internet. Several universities have created online courses and certificate and degree programs that allow you to go to school online while enjoying the advantages of an on-campus program.

Online schools differ from distance learning programs that provide training through the standard mail. While these programs are excellent, attending school online can speed up the process, because you can send your homework in and receive new class materials and assignments in seconds rather than days.

With many of these online education sources, you can register for and begin classes online at any time during the year. To check out universities with online programs, go to a search engine and type online programs or certificate program search field.

If you are overwhelmed with starting from scratch getting a certificate or degree, relax. Many institutions of higher learning, both traditional and online, will give you college credit for nontraditional coursework. If you are in the armed forces making the transition into the civilian world, you may get college credits for all those military courses you took.

If you are a salesperson hoping management, you may get college credits for all those sales training seminars you attended. You will need proof you participated in the number of hours you spent on them and a course description for each training workshop. The time spent tracking down the required information is well worth the credit you may receive.

© Wordscapes® (David Turner). All Rights Reserved.