Career Change Training
Weighing up the Pros and Cons of Retraining for a New Career


It's a big decision!
You've worked in a job for a number of years but recently you've been thinking about training for a different career.

But the possibility of extensive career change training to fulfill your new dream career doesn't have much appeal.

I've put together a list of the common questions and answers that you are likely to ask yourself when considering if career change training will be worthwhile for you, together with other career change advice comments.


1. Are you sure that formal career change education is absolutely necessary for the job you are considering?

2. How do I know there will be a job at the end of my training?

3. When considering training for a different career, how do you compare courses and find out who provides the best quality training?

4. Am I really motivated [and financially able] to see through the prescribed career change training?

5. When I have all my facts in front of me, what is the best way to make a final decision?
_______________________________



1. Are you sure that formal career change education is absolutely necessary for the job you are considering?

Often you can enter a new career through the 'back door' that doesn't require formal career change training.
For full details on this question see Do you really need retraining to change careers?.



2. How do I know there will be a job at the end of my training?

This is a difficult one.
Although the job market for your new career may look good now, job markets can change quickly.
There is never a guarantee that you will get a job after you have finished your training, but there are some things you can do to minimize the odds of finding yourself unemployed after completing further career education.




a. You would probably want to go and talk to education providers, but sometimes they will paint a very rosy picture about the potential job opportunities after graduation.
They have a vested interest in selling you their courses so don't put too much weight on their comments.

b. Probably the most important thing you can do is to ensure that when you do finally start applying for jobs, you become a front runner in the minds of prospective employers.
But how do you achieve that? The best way is to ensure that the career you are training for, and the jobs you are applying for, are the best possible fit for your innate skills and giftings.

If you haven't completed the free career assessments, this is a great place to start.
Completing this assessment is some of the best career change advice I can give, as it will provide some great insights into your core giftings and the skills you are most motivated to use.

It will ensure that you don't start spending a lot of time and money on career change training that in the end is likely to result in much long-term job satisfaction.


c. Once you are confident you know the skills and abilities you like to use the most, the next step is to go and talk to workers who are already doing the job you are contemplating.

This will allow you to find out what the current supply and demand is for the job.
Richard Bolles coined the phrase informational interviewing to describe this information shopping process.
Through networking, find people who are already doing this type of job and arrange a short meeting with them [this could be over the phone, but in person is best]to find out what the current and future demand for this type of job is.

You will also be able to obtain information that will help you with question no. 3 as follows.


Find out all about the job and the training that they went through [if any] to get there. You might also want to ask them questions like:

A. Do you know anybody in the industry who does this type of work but did not go through any formal career change training?

B. What training did you go through to get into your position?

C. What courses or training establishments are more highly regarded than others within the industry?

D. What is the current state of job openings in the industry?

E. Do you know of any organizations that have an apprenticeship type scheme or allow some other form of on-the-job training or allow formal education to be completed while working in the job? Question them hard on this issue. Can they think of even one example where this has happened?

F. How long ago was it that you were employed?

G. How did you obtain your job?

H. How difficult did you find the process of securing the job?

I. What did you feel were the most sought after attribute by your employer?

J. Who else do you know that has been employed in this type of work more recently? [Get contact details and arrange a similar meeting with them]
d. Passion for the work you do is one of the greatest ways you can increase the chances of successfully securing a job at the end of your career change training.

Very few employers are not impacted in a meeting with a potential employee who exudes tremendous passion for the work on offer.
But passion is not something you can manufacture.
It is a byproduct of genuinely loving that type of work.
And the way that happens is for you to be intimately in touch with the gifts and abilities that you love to use the most.



3. When considering training for a different career, how do you compare courses and find out who provides the best quality training?

The best way is to ask people in the industry.
Questions C. in the box above addresses this issue when asking it to workers.
But this question should also be addressed to employers in the industry.
It is their answer that carries more weight than anyone else because they are the ones doing the hiring.

It is also a good idea once a career education provider has been selected to ask them for contact details of recent graduates so you can call them up and discuss their satisfaction levels with the course.



4. Am I really motivated [and financially able] to see through the prescribed career change training?

Generally speaking, if a person is questioning their potential lack of motivation when considering training for a different career, then there is a very good chance they are on the wrong track.
If you have completed the free career assessment, you should have a pretty good idea where your passions and motivated gifts are.


Normally if a person is struggling with the question, "Will I stay motivated?" there are usually doubts lingering.
And if there are doubts lingering in the beginning, there is a good chance those doubts will turn into lack of action down the track.
Sometimes however, the motivation issue may be related to not having enough information regarding the course or the career that you are considering.

This is where the informational interviewing will hopefully solve those issues.
The financial side of things is usually quite a lot easier to assess and manage.
It's really just about doing a projected cash flow for the period of study including any upfront education fees.


This can be done on a simple Excel spreadsheet or there are numerous free online budgeting software programs.
Financial reasons are another motive for trying to enter a career through the back door without standalone formal career change training.
In this situation, not only does the learning usually result in better training, but you are you also earning money while you learn.



5. When I finally have all my facts in front of me, what is the best way to make a final decision?

Choosing to undertake significant career change training is a big move!
And there are a lot of factors to consider. Here is a great little decision-making tool that I used to make decisions when there are multiple factors to consider.

It only takes a few minutes to use it and I haven't found a better way of making decisions systematically and logically - and it's free.



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Simon Davies Career Change Counselling
Gold Coast: Robina, Queensland Australia 4213
Phone Mobile (outside of Australia) +6148 1333 415
Phone Mobile (in Australia) 0481 333415
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