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Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest.
For example, if you're interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.
Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have.
Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills.
Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career.
Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand.
Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers.
Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change.
If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can.
Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field.
Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes.
Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work?
Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews.
A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
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