Kelli trying to make a career change at 40+

March 10th, 2009 at 1:27 pm by under Your Money
Dear Ken,
I really enjoyed your interview on TV-8 on  Monday, March9, 2009.  I hate to bother you, but I just have a simple question concerning networking.  I am 45 years old and have made the decision to make a career change.  From Consumer sales and Management to Human Service’s.   Since I I have become unemployed this summer, I decided to go back to college (on-line) to acquire another bachelors degree in Human Services for this change.  Can you give me a few tips on networking in a new career field to find a job.
Thank you so very much for your time,
Kelli

2 Responses to “Kelli trying to make a career change at 40+”

  1. Ken Soper says:

    Kelli,

    Networking into a new career field is an excellent way to start. The key will be identifying the human services field you are interested in first. For illustration sake, let’s take Crisis Intervention and Domestic Violence–horrible situations needing talented people to help prevent and intervene.

    Go to your public library and ask for the reference work, The Encyclopedia of Associations, at the reference desk. Then, use volume 3, the Key Word Index, to look up the words ‘crisis intervention,’ or ‘domestic violence.’ Doing so, you will find a number of association entries; skim over them to see which seems to be the most likely to be helpful based on the entry. Visit their website, or call their national office, seeking to find a person or persons in West Michigan who are members or even local chapter officers. Contact 2-4 of these people and ask for an ‘informational interview,’ explaining your interest and that you are exploring entry into this line of work. Ask for 20-30 minutes only at a time convenient to their schedule.

    Then at the appointment, you interview them, asking basically these questions: 1) Tell me your story; how did you get to be where you are today in this career field?; 2) what do you like, dislike and what is this career field’s future?; 3) what activities have you participated in and/or organizations you joined that have helped your career along?; 4) what else do you think someone like me should know about this type of work? [Here you then give a short 90-second summary of who you are, what your talents are, your recent activities (including your education), and what has drawn you to this career field.] And finally, 5) whom else would you recommend I speak with about this type of work, and could you be so kind as to give me a couple of names of people you know in this field?

    This plus reading about such work (try googling ‘ONET’ and ‘OOH’ for more information) will give you excellent insight into this line of work, and help to get you started networking. Even if you decide this is not a field for you, your research will payoff by avoiding a field that doesn’t fit.

    Yes, it takes time, but your most precious thing is time, and you wouldn’t want to waste it in a line of work that you don’t like or has a poor future.

    Godspeed!

    Career Ken

  2. Ken Soper says:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.
    Kelli

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