Guest blog article provided by Angie Klein, a recent graduate of Upper Iowa University.
Well, I did it! My big decision to go back to school as a non-traditional student to “change” my career has been accomplished! The downside–it’s been just over a year and I’m still in my original career. It’s challenging to get companies to see who YOU are, what you have achieved, and what you want to do with this new wealth of knowledge! Many human resource departments only look at your past experiences or simply view you as “inexperienced”.
Lessons Learned About Making a Career Change
Over the past year, I’ve been creatively branding myself with the hope of opening the door of opportunity into my new career! Here are a few lessons that I have learned about making a career change:
- Volunteer. I have increased my volunteerism within my community. This has allowed me to network with as many diverse groups as possible.
- Get active. I have become active in my child’s elementary school PTO organization. Yes, I’m this year’s President! I’m going to toot my own horn by saying I’m doing pretty well being the “ring leader”! After two non-selling fundraisers, we’ve exceeded our monetary goals on each! I’ve received so much feedback on how organized I have been and that I’m making things happen! This is exactly the kind of exposure I’m looking for!
- Get a part-time job. I needed to gain new experiences, but how? I knew that I needed to continue working full-time to pay the bills. So, I accepted a part-time position as well! I’m gaining experience in coordinating events, training, computer technology, marketing, and sales. This is a great example where networking has paid off for me!
- Assess your strengths/weaknesses. I had the opportunity to take a personality assessment (that can be combined with career coaching). The results provided me with new insights into my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. This assessment will help me in my current positions but also help me be more aware about how I might best fit into a new organization as well.
Although my efforts have been exhausting and sometimes challenging, they have all been rewarding! Branding yourself is, indeed, a job in itself!