Developing a Plan

Mapping Your Moves

1)Think about the skills and tasks you enjoy most. 2) Consider how you can use existing skills in new ways.

Leverage some of your current skills and experiences to your new career. There are many skills (such as communications, leadership, planning, etc.) that are transferable and applicable to what you want to do in your new career. You may be surprised to see that you already have a solid amount of experience for your new career.

3) List job careers that you might like to pursue in. 4) Research jobs in which you might be interested.

Once you’ve discovered (or rediscovered) your passion, spend some time researching the types of careers that center around your passions. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit unsure or insecure — it’s a natural part of the career change process.

How much research you do also partly depends on how much of a change you’re making; for example, changing from a teacher to a corporate trainer versus switching from a nurse to a Web designer. You can find some great career information and a skills-matching service at O*NET Online from the U.S. Department of Labor and basic job information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Here are some other great Career Exploration Resources.

5) Try to arrange interviews so that you don’t miss work. 6) Don’t burn bridges with your current employer.

Some people change careers, but never change employers. Unfortunately, only the very progressive employers recognize that once happy employees can be happy and productive again – in a different capacity. It’s more than likely that you will need to switch employers to change fields, but don’t overlook your current employer. Remember not to start asking about a job switch until you are completely ready to do so.

Try to schedule informational interviews and job interviews before work (perhaps a breakfast meeting), during lunch, after work, or personal days, if possible, Teach says. “If you inform the interviewer that you’d prefer to keep your job search a secret, they may try to accommodate you by scheduling your interview during non-work hours, which will raise the least suspicion with your current employer,” he says. “You may even consider using unused vacation days to interview since you’d be losing these days anyway if you get a new job.”

7) Give a two week notice.

Notice- Official written statement that you’re leaving. If possible don’t quit your job until the day before you start your new one. You want as little down time as possible between jobs. It’s a little trickier if you need to relocate, though…

Bosses would be willing to sabotage your job change because they think they are understaffed and can’t afford to lose you. Don’t you think? You need to give them as little time as possible to do that. I do understand the logic behind this. Bosses sometimes go crazy when employees resign. Some bosses will terminate you immediately, regardless of how long you’ve said you have until your last day.

Legally (in most situations) they can do this. It’s reprehensible behavior. If they don’t want you to come into work once you’re committed to working for a competitor, they should pay you for a reasonable notice period.

8) Don’t tell coworkers about your job hunt.

As soon as one person knows, you might as well assume everyone does, including your boss. You could quickly become the "outsider" in the office. And should you decide not to leave, people will always assume you're still looking. So if you want to discuss your job search, talk to friends and family.

Your manager may view your desire to depart as a betrayal, so it's best to keep quiet. As soon as your boss knows you're looking, you will be viewed as a short-timer and may lose out on valuable opportunities, like promotions, raises, assignments, or training.