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Taking the Leap into a New Career: What You Should Know

Heather Myers

Chief Psychology Officer | PhD | Analyzer/Mentor in Work

Now more than ever before, workers are changing employers and careers more frequently. Our grandparents may have stayed with the same company their entire careers, but this is no longer the case . Statistics published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that in 1983, the percentage of workers between the ages of 55 and 64 who reported being with their current employer for 20 years or more was 34.8%. For those over 65, it was 38.1%. By 2016, those percentages fell to 28.0% and 28.1%, respectively.

What this means is that most of us will change jobs and most likely careers at least once in our lives. Changing jobs can of course be a source of stress and anxiety. After what seems like too many years at one company, we can begin to feel as if we are not qualified to do anything else. This becomes even more striking as rapid changes to technology create jobs that didn't exist 20 or even 10 years ago. In fact, a recent article in World Economic Forum draws our attention to 10 jobs that didn't exist 10 years ago, such as app developer, big-data analyst, Uber driver, and YouTuber!

I believe this constant creation of new jobs due to technological advances is better seen not as a source of stress for those seeking a new career path but as a chance to grow and explore new and exciting opportunities. If you decide to seize the chance to find a new career path, then you might find yourself asking the following questions:

Where do I go from here? How do I know what careers I might enjoy? Where can I find them?

A tried and true way to find something you might be interested in is to reach out to those in your professional network via LinkedIn or Twitter. Read up on what they're doing. If you see something interesting, ask for an informational interview to learn about what the job is like on a daily basis. Find out what benefits or perks it offers and what challenges it presents. Learning about the specifics can help you decide whether or not you wish to pursue that career path and what might be involved in doing so.   

Another great source of exploration are job boards such as Monster and Snagajob. However, the number of jobs can be overwhelming, making it difficult to narrow your search. Personality tests can be a great way to figure out what your interests are and to match you with careers that are in line with your interests. This can help you narrow your search and decide which available jobs you are most interested in applying for. Applying for jobs that align with your interests instead of any job you might be qualified for can help you find not just a new job, but a career that you love!  

And this advice isn't just for job seekers, but also for employers looking to provide a better and more targeted application process for finding new talent. For employers, providing a quick and engaging personality test can expedite applicants through the process and steer them toward  jobs at the company that are most in line with their interests. This saves the employer time and money, and the candidates will be more likely to take the job, if offered to them, and stay engaged.

If your company is interested in learning more about how Traitify can make this happen for you, request a demo!

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