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Finance, Engineering, Technology...How Do You Choose?

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the average person changes careers at least three to five times before retiring. While we've all heard it before, that fact does little to usher people reassuringly into new jobs full of uncertainty. Sixty-six percent of the men and women who answered the QuickPoll indicated that they changed career paths mid-way through their previous careers. So are you ready to change? Here's Career Change advice from The Career Exposure Network™.

Know that you are not alone. Changing careers doesn't mean that your first choice was a bad one. Your first occupation was an experience and a stepping stone to the next phase of your career journey. People evolve throughout a lifetime. It's unrealistic to expect one career will always remain satisfying through that evolution. But, how do you choose the right path with the myriad of options available today?

First, make the following lists:

  1. Skills
  2. Interests
  3. Qualities and values that your new career/job should possess

From these lists, you can most likely determine the best career for you. Match the above criteria to career guides that can be found online through leading career sites and resources centers, by library resources, or alumni career centers. Speak to friends in various fields and gather data from their experiences. Narrow your career options list to one or two choices.

Next, conduct live research, if possible. Volunteer with an organization/association that deals with the new subject matter of interest. Ask local businesses if you can intern in the field you're exploring. Take a class at a local college related to your field of interest. Attend your desired industry's association events, and network, network, network! Try to learn first hand what that career is like.

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