Career Change? What You Need To Know Before Making The Transition

30 07 2014

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Circumstance in life evolve all the time. Some of these changes in life create an opportunity or need to change careers. This isn’t something that should be done impulsively, but should be heavily contemplated and considered. Here are some things to consider before actually making the change.

Change to What?

It goes without saying that the most important thing to consider is what type of career you want to consider. It’s important to never give up an existing job or career without a solid direction in which to head. It’s just a matter of deciding factors such as what you need, love doing, and where your talents lay.

Why is the Change Wanted Or Needed?

In order to prevent impulsive decision making, it is important for you to know why you are desiring of a career change. Do you feel stuck in your position? Do you wish to make a bigger difference and take on more responsibilities? There are many valid reasons to change careers, but sometimes, you may just be burned out or frustrated. A good vacation can resolve those feelings instead of a complete change of career.

What Are Your Life-Long Goals?

Every decision in your day should be part of a life long plan. The last thing you need to do is make a career change that is not consistent with long term goals. Why would you start a new career in the Midwest if you really want to live on the coast? Take a look at long term goals to narrow in on a career that fits for you.

The Cost of Change

Any type of move or change in life usually has a financial cost involved. For a career change, that cost may come in several forms. You may need to relocate and incur moving and relocation costs. Also, career changes may require pay cuts as some industries have different pay scales that other do. More training and education may also be required to get the job you want.

What Does the Prospective Industry Offer?

Before deciding on a new career, you must be certain about the future prospects of a new career. You would not want to consider employment as a copy writer with a newspaper when most news is being absorbed by customers online. Writing for online articles or blogs may be the direction you want to pursue. Know what the industry has to offer and be willing to make changes as needed.

Will Additional Education Be Required?

A new career may require additional education. As an example, someone employed in commercial real estate can find an interest in business. If this is the case, the degree they have may be transferable. For someone interested in something more specific like civil engineering, without an engineering degree, opportunities for employment are slimmer. A professional with a master’s degree in civil engineering has even more options for work and salary.

Career changes can be useful in revitalizing your life and your career. It is important to carefully consider the options and ramifications before actually initiating the change. Most people change careers several times in their life. It is important to make it count.

Informational credit to Ohio University, which offers a master’s degree in civil engineering. For more information, visit http://engineering.online.ohio.edu/civil/.

 

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Anita Ginsburg!!****

Anita G.About the author: Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about education, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.





How to Find Your Alumni Mentor

15 07 2014

The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice board

Seventy percent of jobs are found through networking, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Whether you’re searching for an internship or trying to land your first job, your network is your best resource for finding opportunities.

A great way to amp up your networking efforts? Take advantage of your alumni networks and enlist an alumni mentor. Alumni are an excellent resource during your job search because you already have a common interest established — you both graduated from the same school. And an alumni mentor can serve as a resource during your job search and a guide to your industry.

Here are some tips to kick off your search for your alumni mentor:

1. Search your university’s career website

Nearly every college or university has a career website that contains a database of employers and alumni. For example, colleges and universities such as American University, University of Michigan, and UCLA have alumni mentoring programs within their career websites that connect college students and job seekers with alumni.

You can search your school’s career site based on career interests and industries. This can lead you to connections with alumni working in similar fields as you.

2. Use LinkedIn to your advantage

LinkedIn is another awesome resource for finding an alumni mentor. Most universities have an alumni group established for students. In addition, you can probably find specific alumni groups depending on your major, industry, or geographical area.

For example, if you’re a graduate of your marketing program, look for alumni groups within this department on LinkedIn. Chances are you’ll find a LinkedIn group specifically for marketing alumni of your college or professional organizations related to your major.

3. Send networking emails

After you’ve done some research and located a few professionals you’d like to contact about mentorship, it’s time to send some emails.

When writing networking emails, be genuine, concise, and considerate with your message. Remember, some of these individuals are very busy, so you want to write an email that gets read.

In your email, explain how you’re an alum of the same school with a degree in a similar career path. After you establish the connection, explain that you’d like to ask a few questions about their experience.

4. Schedule a meeting

During your conversations with alumni, make sure to request to meet in-person or chat over the phone. This is your opportunity to pick the alum’s brain and establish a genuine connection.

Once you’re ready to chat with an alum of your program, here are some good questions to ask:

  • What do you like/dislike about your job and why?
  • How did you decide this was the right field for you?
  • How did you get noticed by employers during your entry-level job search?
  • What are some related jobs I should research?

Finding an alumni mentor is one of the best things you can do for your career. Not only is this person a great resource for advice and tips, but they can also be easily located. Hopefully these tips will help you find you an alumni who can take your career to the next level.

Do you have an alumni mentor? How did you develop the relationship?


val-mattaAbout the author: Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift onLinkedIn.

 





10 Ways to Use Social Media to Land Your Dream Job

4 07 2014

Social Media ComicSocial media is one of the most life-changing developments of the 21st century. It has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we connect, socialize, entertain, seek knowledge, promote personal and corporate brands, and seek jobs. Gone are the days when our job search was limited to scouring “help wanted” ads in newspapers and other print media, visiting placement agencies and applying through job sites.

Today, companies have developed an ecosystem around social media, which is central to their corporate branding and marketing activities. Manpower requirements are also met through social networking, which is comparatively hassle-free and less time-consuming. For example, if a company is looking for an efficient marketing manager or vice president for its organizational growth, then it is more likely to contact people working at similar companies in its social network.

Hiring managers often review individual profiles on professional networks such as LinkedIn before actually initiating the process of organized headhunting. The time wasted in screening heaps of resumes is minimized to a great extent, and what they get are genuine leads for the open position.

To stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting your dream job through social media, you should follow these ten steps:

1. Keep your personal and professional accounts separate
Don’t make the common mistake of having one social networking account for both your job-hunting and socializing with family and friends. Keep a separate public account to network with potential employers and keep your personal account private, shared only with the close friends. Prospective employers are likely to snoop into your Facebook profile, and if it is not maintained professionally, it can work against you.

2. Shout out loud if you are looking for job
If you’re looking for a job, you should inform your friends and followers through your status updates on Facebook and Twitter. So, in case a friend of yours gets the inside scoop of a new opening in his company, he can in turn inform you before it goes public. Similarly, you can also change your LinkedIn profile headline to signal that you’re looking for a change. It will instantly inform your connections that you’re searching for a suitable opening.

3. Create an impressive LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the biggest global social network for professionals and it has the biggest database of companies, organizations and individuals. So, it’s important to create a professional LinkedIn profile to network with people in your target industry. Your LinkedIn profile is highly visible on search engines such as Google, which is a major advantage.

4. Use advanced features on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has many advanced features that can be used to make your profile highly visible globally. For example, you can add work samples, images of certifications, professional videos, recommendations and many other things. Apart from that, you can also benefit from LinkedIn job groups and the “Jobs” column. Get involved in different groups according to your interests and work profile, and share your knowledge with others for personal branding. Share your blogs in different LinkedIn groups, which will establish yourself as an authority in your field and could also attract hiring managers.

5. Make use of Twitter search
Twitter has many advanced features and powerful search capabilities. You can use hashtags to find people with similar interests. This way, you can multiply your social network beyond national boundaries.

6. Link to your social profiles on your resume
You can use the hyperlinks of your LinkedIn, Twitter and “https://about.me/” profile on your resume just below your name. It will not only make your resume look professional and social media-friendly, but will also help prospective hiring managers to know more about you, especially about your accomplishments and skills, which you can’t always mention in the limited space of your resume.

7. Stay informed
Keep yourself updated with the latest industry news and insights through social platforms and discussions; this will help significantly during interviews. For example, LinkedIn discussions are a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening around the globe in your industry.

8. Promote yourself through https://vizibility.com/
This site will help you promote yourself through your professional profiles, blogs, videos, links, bios and maps.

9. Download job search apps on your smart phone
Apps like CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed will deliver job openings directly to your smart phone, so that you can be among the first to respond.

10. Seek jobs through networks such as TweetMyJobs
Take advantage of prominent mobile and social job distribution networks such as TweetMyJobs to speed up your job search.

****For this guest post, Campus to Career thanks Aditya Singhal!!****

About the author: Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of transtutors.com, which is a leading online tutoring resource for college students. Adi and his team are currently creating a courseware platform for MBA students. They are also launching later this year an eBay style marketplace for assignments. Adi gives back to society by contributing a portion of the company’s revenue toward the education of poor students in India.