Questions To Ask Before You Embark On a New Career Path

July 6, 2011  |  
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On this trip of self-discovery, you realized that a career change was needed to make you more profitable, versatile and marketable. It’s all about seizing the moment when a job or opportunity becomes available, but leaving the current job you have doesn’t always equate to good results. With jobs hard to come by, it’s smart to have all your ducks in a row so you’re not aimlessly looking for work or regretting the decision you made  (quitting while you were ahead). Here are some questions to think about as you contemplate your next move:

1. What goals have I attained that will help me in the long run?

Starting out, you might have been lacking in some real-world experience. But it was your previous work and/or traits, qualities or insight that made you the right fit for the job. In any working environment, you would have grown in the field and achieved success from the work you’ve done as a dedicated worker. Outline major and minor goals such as a project you oversaw and successfully completed with a colleague or presentations you conducted for corporate that will make more competitive as you’re vying for a higher-level position.

2. Am I willing to take on a more demanding role?

Competition is fierce, and in many occasions it can make or break you in such as competitive field. Generally, the higher-paying positions will involve more oversight and less time away from home, so you should have a strong, compelling reason for choosing high volume jobs that will take you out of your element.

3. What are my strengths and weaknesses?

In the application process (or interview stage), an employer will ask what your strengths and weaknesses are to determine how suited you are, how you can best handle the challenges you’ll be faced with and how you stand out as a prospective employee. You should give them a detailed explanation of your strengths: moral standards, dedication, precision or timeliness. Usually, not listing any weaknesses won’t give employers a clear picture of your character or business acumen.

4. What is my growth potential?

Companies you’ve researched can either be smaller or larger firms. The larger firms stand to give you more leverage and choices for the jobs you may want in the future than a smaller company. On the flip side, you could have more room for growth in a smaller company by trying on more hats that could eventually lead to other opportunities. Determine where you can obtain the most exposure.

5. What are the career benefits associated with the new position?

Make sure you’re looking at the benefits package and how you fair to get a portion of the pie. How many stocks are you expected to get in addition to the salary? Will you receive the same dental, medical and health coverage? These are just some of the benefits you want to have as a loyal employee.

6. Will relocating affect my daily commute?

Before relocating, you must factor location and time into the equation. Is it close enough to your place of residence, and if not will it hinder you from arriving to work on-time? Even if this sounds like a lofty position, time is always of the essence and your employer will expect you to keep up.

7. What skills do I possess, and how will it work to my advantage in the long run?

Employers love to see range, consistency and depth in your resume where they know you’ve attained certain skills that are needed for the job such as writing, project management, marketing or graphic arts skills. In all, these will work to your advantage as well as anything else that will serve to bring you closer to that desirable position. You could also make yourself more marketable by going back to school or volunteering for additional experience and career advancement.

8. Am I willing to put forth the time, effort and money?

Taking on a new career path means making sacrifices that you ordinarily haven’t done (or don’t want to do). If you’re looking to prosper, there are some things you must be willing to set aside or give up as a result, such as doing less shopping or working overtime so you can witness success in the long run.

9Should I speak to someone who can advise on making a career move?

Business colleagues and friends or associates who know more than you do about changing careers could educate you on the process, and how to make an informed decision about your prospects. They may be able to tell you where to look, who to talk to and what to say in a crucial moment when you’re face-to-face with the hiring manager. Even when there’s stiff competition, you should always hold yourself in high regard and remain positive.

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