Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - Whether you call it a second act or an encore career, or it’s just your desire to do a complete 180 in your profession, one thing remains the same: The path to reinvention often means taking your current job skills and giving them a new twist.
To make it easier to navigate that sometimes winding career path, especially in today’s global economy, Dr. Ward Ulmer, associate dean of Walden University’s College of Management and Technology, offers some advice.
How To Do It
“Once you’ve decided you want a different career path, you have to prepare and make yourself marketable,” Dr. Ulmer says.
First, he suggests, identify and assess your skills. Jot down what you do well and what career you want to break into. Find out what you need to get there. You may need a new skill set, or you could also take skills from your first career, your education or even your hobby or volunteer activities to your new position. Get a second opinion from someone you trust who will be honest about your skills.
Research the industry, trends, opportunities and even possible pitfalls of this new career.
Tailor your résumé toward the employer or industry you want. Pay special attention to skills and qualities that potential employers are seeking.
What Can Help
“Technology facilitates many possibilities not available even a few years ago. You’re also no longer constrained by geography,” Dr. Ulmer explains. “However, in this new global marketplace, there may be certain skills you’ll need to acquire.”
One skill is the ability to communicate effectively with people of different cultures because what may be perfectly acceptable in one part of the world may be frowned on in other parts.
Be A Lifelong Learner
It’s wise to be a lifelong learner, building the skills you need for your encore career even while still working at your current job. An online training seminar about communication or a class your company is offering can help.
More formal educational opportunities can also be useful. That may mean getting a graduate or postgraduate degree.
At Walden University, Dr. Ulmer points out, online students often work as part of virtual teams with a common goal. They collaborate in the online environment with international faculty and students, giving them a new ability to adapt and communicate with other cultures and countries.
Through online discussion boards or other classroom activities, they develop new skills to work more effectively and efficiently with others, regardless of geographic location.
For more tips on starting your encore career, visit www.WaldenU.edu/secondact.