Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Susan Guarneri
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.
Road Test Your Career Choices – Get the Feel for the Road
Dipping your toe in the water by actually trying out a new occupation before you make a final commitment is a wise career strategy. While you may have done intensive career research, networking, and information interviewing, nothing substitutes for doing the real thing! You may find, for example, that the job on the top of your short list requires you to be available by pager 24/7 (which you had not known), and this is a deal-breaker for you. The following methods are all recommended for road testing a new career:
1. Job Shadowing
This involves accompanying and observing someone who is doing the job you are considering. You may even be allowed to participate in job activities. In some career fields, such as Sales, this is called a “ride-along”. You can arrange job shadowing through your network or you may want to try VocationVacation.com. From Actor to Yoga Studio Owner, Meteorologist to Wilderness Adventure Guide and many more, VocationVacation allows you to test-drive your possible dream job via on-site mentorships or video conferences.
Volunteering opportunities are relatively low-risk for employers and high-value if you want real-world experience in potential career fields and industries. Try volunteermatch.org, volunteeringinamerica.gov or govoluntr.com to generate possibilities to explore.
Actually doing the job in a paid or non-paid internship is ideal because you will get to experience the pros and cons of the career field and industry. Better yet, a high percentage (50% plus) of interns are offered permanent jobs after their on-the-job training in internships! Useful resources for internships include Internships.com, Internshipprograms.com, summerinternships.com, goabroad.com for internships abroad, Idealist.org for non-profit internships, and usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads for government internships.
Developing personal relationships with professionals for career advice, career development, and contacts is central to mentorships. Any of the five methods listed above (networking, information interviewing, job shadowing, volunteering, and internships) can be sources for mentors. While many people are ready and willing to be mentors, they are often not asked. Perhaps you may not know how to go about approaching a possible mentor or wonder what you can expect from that relationship. The Forbes article, How to Start a Mentorship Relationship may be just want you need to get rolling!
Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess and Reach Master Branding Strategist, can guide you to your best-fit career options and help you land your Dream Job.