Make A Career Change For The Better
If your contemplating a career change, some advanced networking strategies can help you take the leap and make a soft landing:
1. Go social. If you've kept up your contacts, your first step toward a successful career change is to put out feelers. When people ask what you're up to, just give them the one-sentence career crossroads speech you drafted earlier. You may want to choose your venues judiciously if you don't want your boss to know you're thinking of leaving just yet.
2. Volunteer. This is a good way to see if your putative new career really will be as satisfying as you expect, and to meet new contacts in the field. You might also come away with some excellent work samples to show, as well as added confidence from successfully applying your skills. It's a small investment of your time that can offer multiple rewards-including the pure pleasure of helping other people.
3. Publish. In addition to creating your own blog or e-zine, you could write a guest editorial for a newspaper or pitch a story to a trade magazine. Getting published can boost your visibility in your field and add to your credentials.
4. Enroll in a class, even if you think you know it all. Find out what's changed in the field since you went through your training. Get to know peers who can keep you inspired and on track to achieve your goals.
5. Drop hints while employed-with care. Some discretion may be necessary here, if your employer isn't aware of your intentions or you want to keep your options open. On the other hand, your boss may be more understanding about your need to leave work on time if you're up front about the class you're taking. Some employers even pay for
tuition. Employers may also be more appreciative and accommodating if they know you have options elsewhere.