Career Changes Work Better When Not Forced

Lots of people change careers. Everyone harps on the fact that people will change their entire careers (not just sectors buy type of work) at least once. And yet, for a number of fields, workers honestly think that they'll stick in the same place. Engineers and healthcare professionals and lawyers immediately spring to mind. That doesn't always make sense, and here's why:

Industries Die, Adjust and Change Shapes and Sizes

While journalism and law schools continue to pump out graduates, they're fighting for an increasingly smaller number of jobs. It's as if after going to top tier schools that had admission rates close to 10%, they're facing competition that in some cases is actually 10 times as difficult. If that makes sense to anyone, they have already established a strong network of professional friends. Most people don't have that.

Another is simply that things change. Telehealth is going to grow in the medical field, and randomly ordering tests isn't going to work with new Medicare rules and insurers who have to cut funds. Scientists may find that the money is in energy/healthcare/IT and of course, Wall Street, where many are making much more money than they could have in a lab.

Okay, You've Frightened Me. What Do I Do About It?

There are only a few jobs you have no real chance of attaining: being President, being Bill Gates or Warren Buffett and becoming an astronaut. Things like that are not likely going to end up on your resume. Pretty much everything else is up for grabs if you're willing to take the time to build up your experience and gain the right skills from offline and online education.

Take a nurse for example. While nursing is likely to explode, everyone is aware of that. Fewer people are aware of the fact that healthcare information technology is also growing. And IT salaries are even better. So going back to school for education in electronic medical records might be one step. Another might be to find jobs where you're working with medical centers that use advanced records keeping.

Another example is an engineer looking to transfer into management. In some fields, managers are likely to make more money with less experience. So looking to an MBA and asking to lead projects is going to help out with that.

So How Do I Get From Here to There

What it comes down to is making a number line or imagining a ruler. At 0, you put your job and responsibilities. At 12, you put down your dream job. Figure out what a good midpoint is at six, for example completing a degree. Then you just fill in at three and nine what interim steps you want to take.

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Data on U.S. Public High Schools & Private High Schools

Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. The data displayed is compiled from the most recent sources available. For public schools this is the 2015-2016 school year. For private schools this is the 2015-2016 school year.

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