Unemployment isn’t as bad as it was a couple of years ago, and the economy (overall) is supposedly a little bit stronger. Still, people still have a lot of concern about the future.
Every year, Gallup’s Work and Education poll gives us a snapshot of what U.S. workers are feeling. The most recent poll shows that most workers aren’t satisfied with their jobs. The aspects of their jobs they are least happy with are:
- on-the-job stress
- their pay
- their retirement plan (or lack thereof)
- their chances for promotion
- their health benefits
Here at 360training.com, we create learners for life. The idea is to give people the tools they need to alleviate these concerns about their careers and about their future. We understand these concerns, because we hear the same questions day after day:
- Where’s this job going?
- Am I at risk of being laid off?
- Can I find something that pays more doing something that I love?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re probably already thinking about transitioning into a new career. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to do it.
Here’s the good news: Starting over doesn’t mean you have to throw away all your hard-earned work experience and go flip burgers. A new direction that matches your skills, your experience and your interests is not a wild fantasy. It’s a realistic goal that you can set for yourself. And the good news is you can start reaching that goal today.
Where will your career change take you? First, take a long, hard look at the job market in the field you’re considering. Job listings on Indeed.com, LinkedIn and Craigslist will give you a general idea what jobs are open and what skills they require. Take note of the “buzzwords” that crop up in certain industries and see if you can incorporate them into own resume. When HR professionals get a mountain of job applications, they scan them for key words and phrases. They often don’t give the ones without them so much as a glance.
If you’re starting over in a completely new field, make sure your resume focuses more on your skills than on your specific work experience. After all, your old career turned out to be a dead end. So why would you want to dwell on it? That said, if you can show increasing levels of responsibility in a prior position, that will be worth a lot to the job interviewer.
You may not have to go back to school to obtain the skills and training you need to put yourself on a more promising path. Online training is available for careers in real estate, insurance, medicine, IT and so much more. There are many certification programs that don’t require a college degree at all.
One benefit of online training is the flexible schedule it offers. Even motivated students have a hard time working all day and going to school at night. Unless you have a lot of money, you probably can’t stop working and be a student for any length of time. Keep collecting a paycheck and enjoying health and medical benefits (if you’re lucky enough to get them though your employer) and get your training online, in your spare time.
Remember, government-sponsored employment and training agencies are available to lend a hand. The U.S. government’s economic stimulus package bestowed $4 billion to fund such programs. Some cover the costs of books, uniforms, state board exams, prep courses and more. Others help entrepreneurs start their own businesses and include instruction on acquiring venture capital funding, writing a business plan and marketing.
A list of state-run programs is available at the Labor Department website. You could also call the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration hotline at 877-872-5627. Be sure to check out 360training.com’s most popular courses for career training. Who knows? Today could be the day you take the first step towards finding the career you love.