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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Changing Your Career Path During the Recession (4)

Finding the right career tip 3: Develop your skills and experience

If your chosen career requires skills or experience you lack, don’t despair. There are many ways to gain needed skills. While learning, you’ll also have an opportunity to find out whether or not you truly enjoy your chosen career and also make connections that could lead to your dream job.

Gaining career skills:

Utilize your current position. Look for on-the-job training or opportunities to do projects that develop new skills. See if your employer will pay part of your tuition costs.

Identify resources in the community. Find out about programs in your community. Community colleges or libraries often offer low cost opportunities to strengthen skills such as computers, basic accounting, or how to start a business. Local Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Administrations, or state job development programs also are excellent resources.

Volunteer or work as an intern. Some career skills can be acquired by volunteering or doing an internship. This has the added benefit of getting you in contact with people in your chosen field.

Take classes. Some fields require specific education or skills, such as an educational degree or specific training. Don’t automatically rule out more education as impossible. Many fields have accelerated programs if you already have some education, or you may be able to do night classes or part-time schooling so that you can continue to work. Some companies even offer tuition reimbursements if you stay at the company after you finish your education.

Finding right career tip 4: Consider starting your own business

If you’re getting worn down by long commutes or a difficult boss, the thought of being your own boss can be very appealing. And it may be you can find your perfect niche even in a slower economy. Depending on the specialty, some companies prefer to streamline their ranks and work with outside vendors. However, it is especially important to do your homework and understand the realities of business ownership before you jump in.

Make sure you are committed and passionate to your business idea. You will be spending many long hours getting started, and it may take a while for your business to pay off.

Research is critical. Take some time to analyze your area of interest. Are you filling an unmet need? Especially if you are considering an online business, how likely is your area to be outsourced? What is your business plan, and who are your potential investors? Learn more in the resources section below.

Expect limited or no earnings to start. Especially in the first few months, you are building your base and may have start up costs that offset any profit initially. Make sure you have a plan on how you will get through that time.

Click here to read part 5 of this article

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