Change Your Career
Without Ever Leaving Your Company
By Kim Hahn
If you’re torn between the desire for
new challenges, and the security and satisfaction of where you are,
you don’t have to choose. Learn how to make your “old” job into
something brand new. If you’re ready for a new career, don’t sit
back and let another minute pass. Chances are the opportunity for
change is right under your nose.
Whether your employer is a large
conglomerate or a small business, most companies are made up of many
different functions. Although the products and services may differ,
the art of business is the same. This means that all companies--or
at least all successful companies--have an ensemble of employees in
various disciplines working together. These disciplines can include
sales, marketing, finance and budgeting, strategic planning, product
development, operations, web development, human resources, and many
more. And even though not all companies have specific departments
for each of these tasks, any healthy company has these disciplines
being performed at some level. And since no company is ever
performing to perfection, there’s always room for improvement.
That’s where your opportunity lies.
Don’t shake your head and assume that
your employer would rather hire someone from outside with prior
experience. There are lots of reasons why it’s preferable to train a
current employee in a new role rather than take a chance on a
stranger. It takes time and money to recruit and train a new
employee, and even once that’s accomplished there’s no guarantee
that the new employee will be able to fit in with the style and
culture of the corporation. Besides, nothing rings sweeter to a
manager than to hear that already valued employees want to add more
skills to their tool belt.
Here are nine steps you can take to
start fulfilling your dream of career change today.
1. Identify Your Area of Interest: Make a list of your talents,
your interests, and the things you like to do, then link this
list to the kinds of work you want to perform in a new job.
Stumped? Most human resource departments have tests that can
assist you in identifying what’s most satisfying to you. Another
resource is the Johnson Conner Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.
Here you will take a variety of exams and be evaluated on your
inherent strengths and weaknesses. Based on the results, the
institute will give you a list of different types of careers
that you would do well at and find satisfying.
2. Seek Out Someone Who Can Give You
More Information: Once you’ve identified the new career that
you’d like to pursue, find someone in the company that has
responsibility for that area. Invite that person to lunch or
for coffee so that you can pick their brains on what it will
take for you to make the leap.
Your Desire to Change Careers Be Known: Spread the word that
you’re interested in making a career change within your company.
Just putting your wishes out there can start setting
possibilities in motion.
Out a Mentor: Most successful people love to share their secrets
for success and are willing to give advice, make introductions,
and assist an up-and-comer in the organization. You can learn a
lot from someone who has mastered the career you aspire to.
These are the things you can’t learn from books!
5. Network, Network, Network: Meet
with as many people as you can within your company to learn
about the career you’re interested in, find out about new
opportunities that are becoming open, and get your foot in the
door. Make friends and ask them to lobby upper management for
6. Identify the Skills, Education, or Experience You Need: Take
inventory of what you can bring to the table and what new tools
you’ll need to acquire. Although you may not have done this
particular job before, you most likely have skills and
experience that will transfer. As with any career change, you
may need to take a few classes or go back to school. Most
employers will give you time for this, and often even provide
7. Determine How to Obtain the Qualifications You Need: There are
many ways to get new skills and knowledge, including:
On The Job Training/Job
In-House Classes–many large
companies have their own training departments that offer
classes in the very things you’d like to learn.
Volunteering--You can learn by
just being in the environment.
Web Classes–online training is
cost effective and can be done at your convenience
Classes–associations in the field you’re interested in may
offer lots of training programs
Trade School Classes–sometimes
all you need is to fill in a class or two. Universities
also offer continuing education.
A degree or
certification–Depending on how dramatic the career change,
you may need to get a new degree. But you don’t have to stop
working to make this happen. Taking night and weekend
classes is one option. And your company may allow you some
time off each week to attend school.
8. Develop a Timeline for Making the Change: Be realistic about how
much time this change may take. Then sit down and draft out the
steps you plan to take, and set goals for yourself. You’ll find
that once you get on the path to change it feels almost as good
as reaching the destination.
9. Do it
Remember that this career change need
not be your last. If you’re like most people, you have many
interests and aspire to do and try many things. Life is like a menu
and you should sample many choices!
All good managers know that it’s
unrealistic to think any employee will stay for eternity, but
managers do hope to hold onto their best employees for as long as
possible. A good manager will recognize that people need to grow and
change. By making a career change within your current company,
you’re not only providing yourself with growth opportunities, but
you’re also giving your company an employee who is more diversified,
skilled, and valuable in the long run. So take steps to realize your
own growth, and make your dreams come true.
Read other articles and learn more
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and