If your New Years’ resolution involves changing careers, then here’s some information to help you out. I’ve changed jobs, and careers numerous times by the time I turned 45 years old. Believe me, even with a fractured resume, I have been able to find a job that served my soul as well as my pocketbook. I know that you can too.


Before you decide to go back to school for a new degree, or accept employment in a whole new field, do your homework. I know I’m not the only one who completed job training only to realize the career wasn’t what I thought it would be. I wasted a lot of time and money.

Therefore, interview people in your chosen field, and ask questions!!! This is not a job interview, it’s a fact finding mission. Questions to ask include, “What do you find most satisfying about your job?,” and “what do you find most frustrating?” I have a complete list of additional questions. Email me and ask for the free Informational Interviewing Questionnaire.


In order to determine passion and skills for a new occupation, try volunteering for a local charity of your interest and complete a project, such as an annual fund raiser, or community event. Not only will you make valuable contacts, but you can also SHOW others what you can do! Every day is your job interview. If you are collaborative and results-oriented on a project you’re not getting paid for, then there is little doubt you will achieve success and satisfaction in your new career. You might also find the new career isn’t for you. I’ve met numerous job seekers who graduated into a career that did not suit them.


Next, update your resume focusing on transferable skills and interests to the position you are seeking. Consider hiring a professional resume writer with career changer experience. You’ll see faster results than if you do it yourself, especially in a slow economy, when there’s much more competition from job seekers.


Let all your friends and former colleagues know you are looking to change careers. Ask them to keep an “ear to the ground” for any job openings. You should also check out Linkedin for jobs and to track down references and former co-workers.


You have the ultimate control over your career change. This is not the time to get discouraged and declare, “there’s nothing out there.” Employers are seeking positive people, not naysayers and whiners.


The book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles offers the best advice on choosing a career. It helped me change careers several times, from airline gate agent, to radio air personality, to network news producer, and resume writer.

Good luck on your transition.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes