Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Five Ways to Choose/Change Careers

Chapter 10 of What Color Is Your Parachute? is about changing or choosing your career.  This is the guide to what was discussed earlier in Chapter 8.  This chapter covers the 5 ways to go about this.  

The First way To Choose/Change Careers:
The Internet

The book suggests visiting and These two links will lead you to a site with a great amount of up-to-date information about different careers.  Unfortunately, this site is somewhat limited.  There are however, about 900 different career titles listed.  These careers are sorted by whether this career has a bright outlook, or whether the job is in the green field.  Another option of course is to use the The Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

The Second way to Choose/Change Careers:

These are not the type of tests you're thinking of, these are more like assessments and instruments. These tests are used to help you find out what industry you belong in or what careers you may be interested in.  You can find these assessments by Googling "career tests" or "personality tests."  The book suggests a few other tests to consider.  The first is The Dewey Color System, the second is Dr. John Holland's Self-Directed Search, and The University of Missouri's Career Interests Game.  

The Third way to Choose/Change Careers:
Using The Flower Exercise

The Flower Exercise was discussed in great detail in Chapter 7.  This is the longest chapter in the book because it leads you through several exercises to help determine your interests and to learn more about yourself.  This flower exercise lays the path to changing careers.  

The Fourth Way to Choose/Change Careers:
Changing a Career in Two Steps

Once you have completed The Flower Exercise, and have successfully determined the direction you're headed then you can use this method.  Moving from one industry to the next is tough, but if you create a two-part path to the next career the move becomes easier.  The example given in the book is about moving from a career as an accountant in the television industry to a career as a reporter about medical developments.  The hardest path would be to jump directly into it.  By becoming a television reporter first, the jump to medical reporter becomes much easier.  The book has diagrams and explains this in much more detail.  

The Fifth Way to Choose/Change Careers:
Finding Out What the Job-Market Will Need

This career move isn't based on what your needs or wishes are, but on the projections of the the job-market needs.  For example, the most common occupation in the U.S. is truck driver, but this will never make it onto a "hot jobs" list.  Use resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out what the projections for your desired industry are.  The OOH has a feature called "similar occupations" if for some reason you don't qualify for the job you're interested in.  

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