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4 Things To Keep in Mind When You're Launching a New Career

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 7/07/2015 Clark Howard

If you're stuck in low wage work, there could be an opportunity for you to get some training and move to a highly paid career. © Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg If you're stuck in low wage work, there could be an opportunity for you to get some training and move to a highly paid career. Did you know the average person will have 15 different positions over a working lifetime in 4 distinct fields? Changing jobs and careers can be daunting, but very rewarding. Keep the following in mind...

1. Getting "upskilled" may be the easiest route

An estimated 5 million jobs go unfilled every month because employers can't find people with the right skills. That's led some employers to partner with philanthropies, governments, and community colleges to educate existing employees so they can fill those openings. That kind of promoting within is now being called "upskilling."

Imagine going from moving furniture as a hospital maintenance worker to a highly paid nursing position in the same hospital. That's what happened to a man named Roddale Smith I read about in BusinessWeek. His employer funded his nursing school education at night while he continued doing maintenance work by day at a Cincinnati hospital. Now he's graduated and doubled his pay as a skilled nurse.

If you're stuck in low wage work, there could be an opportunity for you to get some free training and move to a highly paid career, particularly in the manufacturing fields. The key is to find an employer willing to upskill you. A good starting point is the National Fund for Workforce Solutions website and their list of regional collaboratives in 24 states.

2. Anticipate double-duty when changing careers

Simplify your career change by starting to work in your new field part-time while keeping your current steady job. © David Paul Morris/Bloomberg Simplify your career change by starting to work in your new field part-time while keeping your current steady job. If you're eyeing a career change and have an entrepreneurial bent, I want you to smooth the transition by starting to work in your new field part-time while keeping your current steady job.

Money magazine once reported that 70% of men and 50% of women maintain full-time while starting a new business. That's the smart way to do it. Of course, that means that you're working your tail off both day and night. But it also lowers the risk should your new career change or business venture fail.

3. Seek out continual re-education and training 

Technology changes so fast that what you're doing today in any give field could be obsolete in five years or less. © Image Source/Rex Features Technology changes so fast that what you're doing today in any give field could be obsolete in five years or less. You can never stop learning, particularly if you're a career-changer. Technology changes so fast that what you're doing today in any give field could be obsolete in five years or less. Don't go through life with blinders on. Look for the wider changes in an industry and figure out how to adapt. Be ready to reinvent yourself for success. 

4. You'll need time away to germinate ideas

You never know what else is out there for you unless you challenge the way you see yourself and reinvent yourself in a new mold. You don't have to be stuck in a rut. If you pursue what you love, the money you need to survive will generally follow.

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