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Changing Careers is Not Easy

Updated on February 17, 2011

With the economic situation remaining in a Code Blue for much of America, many are retraining for a new career, going back to school or holding out in hopes that their old career will relaunch. Trade schools are reaping the big awards as they play on the fears possessed by the unemployed and job competition remains six applicants for every job. The enticing ads for new careers appeals to many, in any age group, but tend to be those who realize their career is now dead for a variety of reasons or those who never really had a career at any one thing. 

Changing careers is not an easy process and it is no sure thing that all will be OK afterwards in this economy. The biggest hurdle facing those attempting this is money for retraining, which runs into the thousands, those applying for jobs in their target career they wish to change into and not having experience in it (but have a ton of desire and education), those who are learning on the job for dirt wages in hopes a better day arrives and those competing for the same jobs that have been in the target career for years. Keeping your foot in your present career and trying to open a new career is more difficult especially if the wages are much lower.

Take for instance, a person who was a in retail sales for years, is burnt out and now seeks to be a software programmer. Money and time are hurdles just to get to a point where they can even apply for a job in the new field. Money for school and time to do it, time to continue working and surviving. As they do so, they are always tempted to return to the old career because of the money or they really lack the time to devote to a new career with an uncertain future. There is no guarantee that after everything you will end up with a job in your new career. There is always that conundrum of you having the education but no experience. Let's face it, most companies will choose experience over education in many cases. Sometimes, they are equal partners, especially is specialty careers, but in lower level careers, experience will hurt you if you lack it.

People in the trades who want to switch careers are even more tempted to return to the old career because it pays well, unless they are willing to accept a starting wage 40% lower in their new career because of its entry level status. The people switching careers are also worried about all the schools pumping graduates with similar target careers and it means less chance of getting a job


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