Make us your home page
Instagram

Tips for trying on your dream career

So you're one of the lucky people who are working. But you're not happy: Your current job has lost its luster and you wonder if a new career might be the answer. You're not alone. • Research shows that worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise in this country for the past two decades. However, you don't want to endanger your current employment. The economy's still shaky and your dream career may not work out. • How about trying on that new job and making sure it's a fit for you? Here are some tips that can help:

Mum's the word: Don't mention your career change plans to anyone you don't trust to keep your search quiet. You don't want this to affect your current job status.

Research: The Internet is your friend. Look up job openings for the career you think you'd like. How many are in your area? What are the requirements? What is the salary range? What are the companies that have the job openings? What do you know about these companies?

Take a class: Sign up for a class that introduces you to the career you think you'd like. Colleges, universities and trade schools offer these types of classes for audit or credit. Talk with the instructor and your fellow classmates. Find out why they chose the career you're considering, what type of training is required and what opportunities are available. Also, ask about the long-term prospects for this career. For example, computer programming was hot in the '70s and '80s. Now many programmers are looking for jobs. What skills will your dream career provide and how will they translate into the job market in the next 10, 20 or 30 years?

Find a mentor: Contact someone who has the career you think you'd like and invite her or him to lunch or coffee. Make sure you do this on your lunch hour or before or after work so you don't take time away from your current job. How do you find such a person?

• Ask friends and family if they know of anyone who is working in the field you aspire to.

• Contact the local chapter of that field's professional organization.

• You can find them listed on the Internet.

• Attend a meeting and talk with people you meet there.

When you do select your mentor, ask pertinent questions:

• What type of training did you receive?

• What is your typical day like?

• What is the salary range?

• What are the opportunities and long-term salary potential?

Shadow: Ask someone already working in the field if you can "shadow" them for a day. This can be tricky and may require taking a day off from your current job. But it's worth it. When you shadow, you get a firsthand experience of the day in, day out realities of the job — what it requires, the types of people you'd be working with and the stresses and rewards involved.

Attend a workshop or seminar: Professional organizations often schedule workshops and seminars for people in their field to upgrade skills and to disseminate information. Some of these workshops are open to the public. Sign up and make sure you network. You can gain insight from the workshop itself and learn a lot by talking to attendees.

Listen to a podcast: More and more organizations offer podcasts on timely topics regarding their profession. Many of these podcasts are available to the public on the Internet. Download, listen and learn.

Volunteer: Many companies and professional groups sponsor charitable events throughout the year. Volunteer to help with an event and meet and talk with the people who represent the company or field you think interests you. This is a non-threatening way to make friends and show off your interest, your organizational ability and your work ethic.

Good luck trying on your next career. Hopefully it will fit your needs for years to come.

Marie Stempinski is the founder and president of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in marketing, public relations and business and career trends counseling. She also leads workshops. She can be reached at mswriter124@cs.com.

Tips for trying on your dream career 01/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 9:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who's best global airline? Qatar Airways takes No. 1 spot but Delta tops U.S. carriers

    Airlines

    The good news? Delta Airlines tops all U.S. airlines in a new Skytrax global airline passenger satisfaction survey of the world's best airlines. The bad news? At No. 32, Delta still ranks behind dozens of Middle East, Asian and some European airlines. For Tampa International Airport and the major airlines that operate …

    Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at Tampa International Airport, improved its customer satisfaction rating among global airlines in a recent survey.
[Times file photo]
  2. Vinoy resort will ask St. Petersburg voters to approve new parking garage (with tennis courts on top)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment and part of that plan calls for building a new one-story parking garage over eight existing tennis courts.

    The Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment. The Vinoy wants to build a one-story parking garage as part of that project, in place of eight existing tennis courts. The tennis courts would be moved on top of the garage, which would hold 270 parking spots. But the Vinoy needs St. Petersburg voters to approve the project in a November referendum. This is an artists' rendering of the new garage from the street. [Courtesy of Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club]
  3. House committee passes Florida-sponsored flood insurance bill

    Banking

    The House Financial Services Committee pushed through a Florida-sponsored bill intended to cut flood insurance costs. If passed, the bipartisan bill would help create a marketplace for private flood insurance.

    A House committee passed a Florida-sponsored bill meant to lower flood insurance rates.
[Times file photo]
  4. 3 new restaurants open: Deccan Spice Indian food, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, the Cake Shop

    Food & Dining

    DECCAN SPICE

    Deccan Spice has opened at 2325 Ulmerton Road, in what used to be the elegant and vast Grand Siam space in Feather Sound. It's getting high marks so far for its traditional Indian lunch buffet, and offers a range of southern Indian dishes (vadas and dosas and idlis, oh my) seldom seen …

    Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery serves wraps, acai bowls, smoothies and juices and plant-based baked goods like strawberry cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Charles Rumph.
  5. The driver who died in a Tesla crash in Florida using Autopilot ignored 7 safety warnings

    Autos

    When Joshua Brown's Tesla slammed into the side of a tractor-trailer last year at more than 70 miles per hour, the fatal accident became the world's first known car crash involving a partly autonomous vehicle.

    Tesla requires its drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when Autopilot is engaged. A crash in Florida showed that the driver was warned to keep his hands on the steering wheel.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) TXTG101