You work hard, you've got a steady job with good benefits and you feel fortunate to be able to assist others in need. Your hard work has resulted in professional success. You have advanced to a point where you find yourself at a crossroad. You are content, yet you desire more.
You're not alone. Studies show between 30 - 50% of workers have at some point either considered making a lateral move within their companies, or considered changing careers altogether. If this describes you, Rutgers University Marketing and Social Media Director, Kevin O'Connell, recommends you do the following:
- Take a step back and reflect on your job and work experience. Assess the skills you have learned, and the aspects of the job you like. You can use this information when considering other opportunities.
- Talk to your employer about possibly changing your work environment, perhaps an assignment to an area which is a better fit for your skill set.
- Set a specific goal for yourself and research companies that seem like a good fit for you.
- Take advantage of online learning to increase your value to employers.
The Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services' (DERS) partner Arizona @ Work is a one-stop shop for those seeking to advance in their professional career, and need some guidance doing just that.
"We offer job research assistance, referral to employment opportunities and skill and career interest assessments," said Arizona @ Work Workforce Region Manager, Ali Gamero-Hernandez. "If you are seeking to make a lateral move, we are available to assist you in creating an employment plan."
Those seeking to change occupations can schedule a meeting to discuss their professional goals with an Arizona @ Work career counselor.
"Our career counselors administer self-assessment tools and then assist clients in developing an Individual Employment Plan (IEP)," said Arizona @ Work Workforce Specialist, Sunday Banks.
An Individual Employment Plan (IEP) identifies the client's needs and determines the combination of services needed to assist the client in reaching their employment goals. The IEP is just one of a multitude of services available to clients.
"We [Arizona @ Work] have job search workshops and training tools to help job seekers identify their transferable skills," added Banks.
Soon-to-be retired and current retirees who still want to work are also able to take advantage of Arizona @ Work resources. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) reports 82% of workers over the age of 50 said they'll continue to work beyond retirement age. A majority of survey respondents said retirement freed them up to pursue their passions. Even though retirees have more freedom to choose a career, there are still some factors to take into consideration. A retiree should ask themselves the following questions:
- How many hours do I want to work?
- How far am I willing travel to work?
- Do I need additional training for my new career?
- Do I have limitations which may impact my ability to perform my new duties?
Our careers can be rewarding, provide financial security and in some cases provide us with the opportunity to change lives. We are grateful for the opportunities we are given but sometimes we desire more. Change is often a slow process and requires planning and patience. Utilize services such as Arizona @ Work to make your next career venture a successful one.
If you would like more information on services available to assist you in preparing for making a change, contact [email protected].
By Vance Phillips