Changing Jobs Professional Development

Career Change? Consider These 5 Ways to Reinvent Yourself

career-change
Written by Jessie Liu

Looking for a new job? Don't pigeon-hole yourself by only considering opportunities similar to your established career path or what your degree says you are qualified to do. If you are going in a totally new direction with your career, it may require reinventing yourself, utilizing hidden skills and talents, and setting a goal to enjoy your new job more than you ever thought possible.

As the poet Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." So your new path may not be the most obvious one to take, but forging in a new direction can be very rewarding.

How to Reinvent Your Career

If you are looking for a change in employment; a job that will be rewarding and actually make you excited about heading to work each day, that job you seek may not even be on your radar.

Reinventing your career requires thinking outside of the box (another job skill, by the way). Focus more on your hidden talents and the skills you have acquired through your work experience, in your personal life, or through volunteer work. Look down a different path, rather than the obvious direction of your work history or what you majored in college.

What Skills Does a New Employer Seek?

You have hidden skills and talents. Whether you mastered creating extraordinary PowerPoint presentations or your were in charge of entertaining your company's clients while they were in town, you acquired extra skills along the way.

So how do you identify these hidden talents and use them to find a new job or career? Here are the basic steps to reinventing yourself and finding a new career path.

  • First, think about any skills you learned at other jobs, especially the ones that were never part of your job description, yet were required for you in order to succeed. This is a tough one because it requires really thinking about what was expected of you in moments where probably not a lot of recognition was given. These were side-skills and until now, nobody paid attention to them.
  • Now begin writing a skill list and include all of your soft-skills as well as hard skills. While it is great that you are a PowerPoint guru, employers want to know that you have the insight to know what should go into a presentation that will reach the audience, motivate a client, or entice a customer. Write down instances where critical thinking and being keenly aware of underlying messages were something you tapped into.
  • Add to your list any examples of being a persuasive public speaker. According to Prinstonreview.com, strong public speaking or presentation skills are vital for many career paths you might take. Think of it as the ability to sell or influence others, which could apply to a myriad of career options.
  • Think about the research skills you have developed through your experience. Whether a career in law, marketing, teaching, politics or public relations, having a solid understanding of research methods will be a valuable asset for employers.
  • If you are skilled at writing and communication then you are in luck. One of the top skills employers look for is good communications skills. If you can write or edit copy, there are many opportunities in which to use these skills. Above all, employers are looking to hire candidates with outstanding communication skills and who are team players, according to results of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2013 survey.

Finally, consider out of the ordinary experiences you have had on the job. This is a vast topic because there are so many ways you may have developed creative skills or sharpened organization capabilities. Have you excelled in illustration and design activities at work? Perhaps you were placed in charge of planning and orchestrating your company's elaborate 10th-anniversary dinner party or an awards banquet?

Creative or organizational skills like design or event management are needed in so many different forms of employment. Never leave those little extra talents you possess, like creativity or your ability to manage multiple tasks, off of your list.

Think that focusing on your experience and expanded skill-set will not net you a solid job offer? Think again. According to a survey conducted by NACE, a vast majority of employers look more to hands-on experience and those extra skills, the ones most people don't think twice about, when they are considering applicants.

Now you are ready to consider new job opportunities, utilizing additional skill-sets and talents that you previously might have overlooked when searching for a new job. If it is time to explore new career possibilities, sign up with TheJobNetwork, include any hidden-skills that you possess on your resume, and head down a new path to your future.

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