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Changing Your Job Focus In An Expanding Climate

You’ve no doubt noticed that the economy is constantly-shifting and ever-evolving.  Jobs which used to be the cornerstones of the industry in, say, communications, customer service, construction and media are being revamped (if not phased out).

New positions and brand-new technology offer fresh and exciting opportunities for you to acquire skill sets you’ve never had to rely on before.

And that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do – master new capabilities—if you want to maintain a firm grip on your maximum income potential.

So what EXACTLY should you be looking at/ considering if you’re realizing that you need to tweak your vocational objectives a bit?

Let’s start with the basics:

  1. You’ve got to know who you are and what you bring to the table. Are you a left-brain kind of person – linear and results-oriented?  You probably wouldn’t do well in a spot which has you thinking exclusively outside of the box and coming up with exceptions to what’s already been established.  But you WOULD do well directing people, running a business, and overseeing a project or production which involves attention to the minutest of details.

On the other hand, if you’re looser in your approach to problem-solving, are quite creative and WOULD be comfortable thinking outside of the box, you’re a right-brain artist-sort who would be at home bringing your unique interpretation to, say, marketing or design concepts.

Interestingly, BOTH of these (left-brain/right-brain) personality styles would be GREAT at teaching…you’d have to hone your own particular style of connecting with students, of course—either show-and-tell and repetition (detail loving teacher) or innovation (utilizing an artisan mentality).

“That SOUNDS reasonable,” you might be thinking, “but I’m BOTH detailed and creative.  Is there a special spot in today’s new job market for me?”

Absolutely!

With your wealth of skill sets, you would be a great design firm office manager. You’d be able to multi-task quite well.  Or you could create backdrops or major presentation showcases for a business, as a stylist!

We’re hardwired to be GENERALISTS, and not specialists.

Many of us are told over and over that this is not so; that we should choose ONE field and learn all that we can about it.

That’s neither practical nor particularly joyful.

You’ll get more out of life if you roll up your shirtsleeves and seek to help no matter WHAT sort of work is going on around you.  You’ll find yourself advancing AND meeting people you never would have met otherwise, and THAT’s invaluable.

Have you ever considered taking a career assessment test? They’re on-target, for the most part.

One you might consider is the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential, or MAPP, at http://assessment.com/AboutMAPP/AboutUs.asp.  This one is pretty exhaustive and will point you in the right direction.   The 15-minute  test is free  The company that puts out the test will offer you a package, if you’re interested in taking it further, but there’s no obligation.

  1. Develop your short-term and long-term goals. Don’t go down this brave new career path without some sort of blueprint. You wouldn’t build a house without a prototype, right? It’s the same with your career goals.

Notice that we made this a plural activity.  You will be searching for GOALS, not A goal.  We’re going back to the earlier theme that you absolutely must generalize…wear many hats, and all of them of the sort that you’ll be able to don interchangeably, field after field.

Let’s give you an example:  if you’re a master of sales; develop an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and bone up on your computer software skills, you might very well qualify for a sales consultant job for a premier roofing company; you may also be able to lend your skill sets to an executive job in a government agency, drafting estimates around local low-income housing abodes.

You would also be able to work as a supervisor of roofing construction projects.

And the list of how you could combine your talents goes on and on!  The only limit?  Your imagination…and the actual needs of your future employers.

Again, you need to settle in your own mind where you would like to be within the next year to three years, and in five, 10 and even 15 years.  Decide which foundational steps you’ll take to get there.

Finally, there’s nothing wrong with deciding where you’d like to retire, or even if you WOULD like to retire.  You’ll have plenty of free time and perhaps some disposable income to do with as you like.  Do you see yourself opening a bed and breakfast?  Moving to the mountains?  Starting a non-profit which will be of service worldwide?  It’s all up to you.

Again, map out the steps you’ll take to get there.  Of course, none of these steps will be written in stone.  Life has a way of turning our best-laid plans upside down. If you’re forced to deviate from schedule, just make sure to get back in the saddle as soon as you can.

  1. Research, research, research. Use this wonderful tool we know as the World Wide Web to inform your career change.  The internet (and job boards, of course) will keep you apprised of the changes which are taking place in your region, and in the world in general.
  2. Read the handwriting on the wall. Where do you see things going in your industry?  And in the industry that you’re planning to enter?  Peruse the venerable business journals and newspapers which have been around long enough to know when to spot and report a newsworthy trend.  Next, be prepared.  Choose your new direction and embrace it.
  3. Now it’s time to rehaul your resume or CV. Keep and revamp the parts which can be applied to what you’ll be doing and throw out  the rest.  (Do keep everything filed in the back of your mind—dates, names, duties—as a point of reference when you’re asked to elaborate on what happened during gaps in your career.)
  4. While you’re at it, prepare a one-paragraph Bio “snapshot” of your achievements AS THEY PERTAIN TO THE NEW FIELD AND NEW CAREER.

Be grateful for what you’ve achieved; go forward with confidence and faith that you’ll soon, very soon, be able to be of REAL value to your would-be employers in your chosen field.

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