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3 Ways to Take Charge of Your Career

By DeVry University

The state of the job market and increased competition among applicants can make finding a career you love feel daunting.1 Fearing the unknown is natural, especially when it comes to a potential change in career, but don’t let that hold you back from taking charge of your future. 

Whether you’re unhappy with your current salary and daily responsibilities, or have a lack of passion for your job, you aren’t alone. According to the Forbes article, “Why Millennials are Ending the 9 to 5,” 60% of millennials leave their jobs in less than three years.2

                                          

1. Look before you leap – Preparation is key

Laurie Sein, director of career services at DeVry University, says preparation is essential when considering a new career path. But before you dive in, do your homework to understand the field, the path to success and what you have to do to get there.

“Take every opportunity to gain experience and understand the day-to-day of your dream career,” says Sein. “Many people think they know what a certain career entails, but it is always different than imagined.”

 

2. Talk to someone in the know - Consider a mentor

Networking opens new doors to new opportunities and is a great means to finding a mentor. Mentors are helpful, no matter the industry. They can answer questions and are available to share advice during the process of finding a new career.

According to the Mashable article, “How to Approach a Mentor,” an ideal mentor has experience and knowledge to help guide you and give applicable and valid career advice.3

 

3. Try it before you buy it - Externships

Another excellent way to network is through externships and job shadowing. These opportunities provide first-hand experience about your desired job and its responsibilities and can open doors to setting goals and potential long-term jobs, notes Hassan Akmal, director of career services, DeVry University.

Be realistic about where you are and where you want to be from the onset. With your mentor and realistic career aspirations, you can set yourself up for success. Your goals should focus on career management and progression, as well as individual feats. Make sure your goals are measurable, achievable, specific, result-driven and time-bound.


Pro tip:

Leave your job on good terms; you never know who will cross your path in the future. Maintain relationships and try to leave at a time that is good for both parties. “Leaving a position prematurely not only jeopardizes the organization, as they may not have a succession plan, but you may also burn bridges,” says Akmal.

There will never be an ideal time to leave your job but doing your due diligence on the front end can make the transition smoother. A change in career can be time consuming and may require additional education. Make sure you are committed to the switch, driven to succeed and knowledgeable about what it will take to get there. Reach out and ask for advice or answers to questions to best manage expectations for your new career and open new opportunities and networks.

Ready to make the switch? Visit devry.edu to learn about the different degree programs available to start the path to your new career today.

 

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[1]http://www.ere.net/2013/05/20/why-you-cant-get-a-job-recruiting-explained-by-the-numbers/
[2]
http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/2013/08/23/why-millennials-are-ending-the-9-to-5/
[3]
http://mashable.com/2014/02/22/entrepreneurs-mentor-relationships/