4 Steps to Advance Your Career or Make a Change


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Not happy in your current position? Want to know if you would be a better fit in a new job or at a different company?

Here are steps you can take to evaluate how to upgrade your career.

1. Identify your skills and discover the skills you didn’t realize you have. Use a skills assessment like CareerOneStop’s Skills Profiler to match and rate your skills against your current and other occupations.

2. Explore jobs related to your current position or look for jobs in a new field. Base your search on your skills, interests and the education requirements for the jobs. To find jobs that match your interests, use the MnCareers Interest Assessment, based on the Holland Code, or O*Net’s Interest Profiler. You can also match jobs to your work values with O*Net’s Work Importance Locator.

3. Evaluate if you can pursue your new choice at your current company, within your same career field or will need to make a complete career change. First look at opportunities within your current company.

  • Check out the internal job bards, look into company-sponsored training and professional development programs.
  • Do informational interviews with people in other departments to find out about the projects they work on, the work culture and the chances for advancement.

If you decide to look for a new company, contact your networking contacts to find a company with a work culture that matches your interest and values and has positions that march your skills and career goals.

If you find that you need additional training, or a specific degree or certification to move ahead, check out this “Upgrade Your Skills” information to find short-term, degree and other education and training programs.

4. Stop to think about your long-term career goals. Don’t let a pressing wish to change your current situation distract you from your true career goals. Before you actively pursue a new position at your company or search for a new job make sure that you have gotten everything you can from your current position.

  • Have you learned all that you could where you are?
  • Are there any advantages to staying in your current position for another six months? Another two years?
  • How will a job search or career change affect other parts of your life right now?

Completing these four steps can take some people a few weeks and others a few years. Taking the time to find out what career move is right for you and why will help you make a positive move forward.

Remember, it’s better to move toward a new job and not focus on what you are trying to get away from.

Keep looking up.

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2 thoughts on “4 Steps to Advance Your Career or Make a Change

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