Over the past 20 years, many bright minds were lured to careers in finance because of lucrative salaries, but when the bubble burst hundreds of thousands of employees had to search for other work and new graduates are looking elsewhere for careers. Today’s article from the describes a migration of workers drawn high money-making jobs to lower-paying ones that may more closely align with their personal values. The health care and education fields are experienceing a surge of applications from laid-off finance professionals, and the recent downtown also appears to coincide with a rising interest in government and public service. According to a Gallup poll conducted in April for the Partnership for Public Service, 40% of U.S. workers are open to considering federal careers, up from 24% in 2006.
This kind of adapatability is necessary in today’s global landscape; where statistics from the BLS show that workers between the ages of 18 and 38 change jobs an average of 10 times. Whether that number indicates a change in place of employment or career field, it is a big one. If you’re rebounding from a lay off, here are tips that can help:
- Take the time to work through your frustrations and disappointment. It is hard to move on to the next phase of your working life without making peace with this last stage. Once you have accepted the reality of the situation, you can go full force into your career search.
- Ask yourself what you can learn from your most recent work experience. Do you want to work in the same type of organization or are you ready for something different? What did you like the most? The least?
- Take stock. What is important in your life right now? What work will best to promote the life that you are trying to create? Are you willing to make less to have more time? Are you willing to have less free time for a job which will require more of you? What is your mission? Your goals? Defining what matters most will help you to recognize the best opportunity and be clear on whether or not it is good match. Organize your finances, redo your budget and keep expenses to a minimum.
- Hire a business or career coach. People need help in times of transition. If your last company did not provide a formal , consider hiring an advisor to help you analyze your strengths, interests, and abilities. This person can also be your personal champion as you pursue the frustrations and the upsides of this process. If you are changing careers, it is useful take career inventories to give you a better sense of what is out there based on your interests, and coaching skills can teach you how to tap your internal motivation, as well as clarify life and .
5. Know what you have to offer in terms of your skills and your abilities. Determine the field and the job for which you have the most passion then research those companies and jobs so that you can narrow your focus. When you interview, think about the unique things you can offer the position for which you are interviewing. Be specific about how you can contribute to the company as a whole.
- Network with people who can help you. Set up appointments and lunches for in the field that interests you. Meet with alumni from your college. Get together with friends and family members who may know someone who can help. Finding the right job is often a numbers game. The more people who know you and your abilities, the more likely you are to connect with the best job for you.
- Canvass on-line services. Services like monster.com or hotjobs.com are an effective way to generate instant activity with your resume. You can also learn about many jobs you may not have known existed. Keep an open mind.
- Practice interviewing. If you are out of practice in describing what you have accomplished the last few years and what you have to offer now, rehearse. Sometimes the most qualified people don’t adequately express themselves. Work through any fears or limitations you might have on presenting yourself so that the confident, competent person whom you are emerges.
9. Form a support network. Plenty of people are unemployed right now. Form a breakfast group with friends or other laid off co-workers to generate leads and share useful tips. Keep the complaints to a minimum and focus on the actions that will move you forward. Reserve some time to have fun and to be with the people who matter most to you. They will sustain you during the more challenging parts of the search.
10. Have faith in yourself. You have gifts and talents to offer, both personally and professionally. If you take this time to really align yourself with your values, mission and goals, you will find your true life’s work.
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Wall Street Journal
by Lisa Bannon
Like nearly 30% of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates in recent years, Ted Fernandez set his sights on finance. Though he majored in materials science and engineering, he was wowed by tales of excitement from friends who went to Wall Street.
But when he stopped by an investment bank’s booth at a job fair a year ago, it was eerily empty. The booth belonged to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and the date was Sept. 18, three days after the 158-year-old bank filed for bankruptcy. Now Mr. Fernandez, 22 years old, is getting a master’s in engineering at M.I.T. and aiming for a career in solar-power technology.
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