Jane considered her obstacles. She
considered that maybe she was too old to make a change; or that
she'd already invested too much money in an education in a different
direction. She also had bills to pay, dependents to care for, obligations to meet. Jane had done "this work" for so long she
couldn't imagine anyone hiring her to do something - anything - different.
The world is full of people who have
followed their dreams instead of building walls. They came to
realize that, with time, thought, determination, and help, they could make
their dreams come true. Finally, Jane came to realize that she too
could change her life by BELIEVING it was possible.
What comes after "believing?"
Exploring the possibilities (see a good
list of self-evaluating questions you can ask... yourself). Jane needed to have a goal in mind in
order to learn how to move closer to it. To successfully begin her
exploration, she had to believe that every door was wide open to
her. She needed to stop worrying about what she was "qualified" to
do, because that would have impeded her efforts, and begin
“believing” that all things are possible. So she allowed herself to wonder,
"What kind of job would make me excited to get out of bed on Monday
She began her exploration by finding
out what kinds of jobs were currently "out there." She started with
her local newspaper and Internet classified ads. Along with various
job titles, she learned some of the hiring criteria and
responsibilities that went along with these positions. She started
her “explore list” with job titles and notes on what interested her
about each one.
Jane then took that list to the local
public library. The librarian directed her to various reference
guides and books on careers, most notably
The Occupational Outlook Handbook. This book gave her information regarding what the
different jobs entailed, what the work environments were like, what
criteria was needed for employment, and what kind of salary
ranges she could expect. As she read through the various job
descriptions, she found that some of the job titles on her explore
list really didn't fit her interests, so she crossed them off. At
the same time, she located other positions that were more appealing, so
she added these to the list. As her list grew, she paid particular
attention to what jobs captured her interest. She envisioned herself
in these jobs, and felt her excitement grow.
Jane took the time to consider what was
important to her in her work environment, work function, and level of
responsibility. She asked herself, "Do I prefer working alone, or as
part of a team?" "Do I prefer to work with few functions and little
change, or do I want variety?" "Do I like quiet environments, or
active ones?" "Do I aspire towards a leadership role, or do I want to
support the leadership?" "Do I enjoy creative work?" These issues
were important and helped her to judge the potential jobs in her
explore list ~ how these possible career selections measured up to
her real interests, talents and personal characteristics.
She also considered what she was
already good at. For example, she was very good at working with
numbers, but didn’t enjoy it. She considered other issues, such as,
"Would I be willing to relocate for a job?" "Would I be willing to
travel, and how much?" Choosing a sales position, for example, might
require more traveling than she wanted; or, it might be disruptive
to her obligations at home. She decided which issues were non-negotiable
and which were flexible. She used this information to narrow down
her list to those positions that offered the greatest potential for
future growth and long-term happiness.
At this point, it felt overwhelming
yet exciting to consider changing from an unhappy career path to a
brighter career future. To reinforce her belief that achieving her
goals was possible, Jane kept one simple truth in mind: CHANGE TAKES
TIME. She was on her way to recognizing the possibilities and
creating a new career future, instead of building walls or
maintaining a passive resignation.
Every goal has at least one path
leading to it, often several. Jane began to think of how she could
discover these paths. First, she talked to people currently doing
the type of work she wanted to do, and learned how they got there.
This may sound more intimidating than it is. Most people
enjoy talking about themselves and are very willing to share
their experiences. Jane also talked to people who hire the people doing
the type of work she wanted to do. She asked these hiring
managers what skills and experiences they look for in the candidates
they hire. She also asked them if they could recommend "stepping
stone" positions she could take now that would help her to build
the skills and experiences she'd need for future jobs and to achieve
her ultimate career goal.
Jane also talked to college
counselors, career experts, and members of a
related to the positions and industries she wanted to target. Through these contacts Jane
gained a network of professionals who were interested in her
commitment to her future, and were willing to help her.
With all this information, Jane knew
she could depend on her own powers of brainstorming to think of ways
she could gain the skills and experiences she needed to reach her
goal. She knew what skills she currently possessed, and she knew
what skills she needed to gain. This allowed her to ascertain
“stepping stone” positions she could take now that would eventually
help her to achieve her ultimate goals. She thought of jobs that
would allow her to use what she already knew, but would also give
her an opportunity to add, build, or learn skills that she'd need
for her future career. Jane created a
job hunting business card that helped her build new contacts,
utilize her growing network and generate potential opportunities.
To avoid financial difficulties, Jane
considered keeping her full-time job and gaining the skills she
needed through part-time work or by offering her services
voluntarily to an organization that had meaning to her. In this way,
she could exchange her services a few hours a week for the
opportunity to learn necessary skills and apply them. She also considered an
apprenticeship position, learning the ropes (even without pay) along
side a good mentor, shortening the path to her final destination by
taking a hands-on learning approach.
Because Jane selected goals that were
fulfilling, exciting, fun, and challenging, she knew the learning
process would be enjoyable. She also realized that it could give her
an early opportunity to learn whether this type of work did, or did
not, measure up to her expectations.
Today, Jane Doe finds herself eager
to head to her new full-time job, even on Monday mornings. She
hasn't reached her ultimate goal yet, but she's much closer to it.
She's doing work she enjoys, learning new skills, and feeling a
sense of real accomplishment.
Jane truly feels that she's
contributing. She's had to cut some corners to make the temporary
decrease in salary work with her financial obligations, but she's
never been happier. New co-workers share her interests and
appreciate her efforts. Her employer says she has great potential
and is glad she's on his team. Her success has no limits. She now
encourages others to identify and pursue their goals, and is
frequently overheard telling friends and family, "You just need to
believe it." (Self-evaluation,
a conversation to have... with yourself.)
Should I Hire a Professional Resume
Writer? / 1st-Writer.com Services