Saturday, August 1, 2009

First article - Places to begin...

Your future starts today!

It is not 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression but sometimes it may feel that way if you have lost your job or are looking for a better one. There are plenty of options for enhancing current skills or learning a new trade or profession if you just know where to look.

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employed people held an average of 9.6 jobs between the ages of 18 and 36. That’s about one job every two years. Not all of the job changes were complete career changes, but some certainly were. About 15 years ago, it was assumed people would completely change careers three times in their working lives. Today that estimate is SEVEN complete career changes! One reason is because some of the jobs we thought would always be around have actually disappeared. For current high school students, many of the jobs available to them by the time they are 22 have not even been created yet.

So, what’s a working person to do? Where do you start if you are interested in looking at a career change or additional training to make yourself more employable?

First, do you know what kinds of jobs are out there and what you like? A good website to research careers is maintained by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics at To find career information, choose the link on the left side for “Jobseekers” and it will take you to a page with the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Handbook lists information about the nature of each job, education required, average salary and 10-year outlook for employment.

Look at the training and educational requirements. Do you have the needed education and skills? Start by considering your options for training: attending face-to-face classes at a college or university, taking online courses, or apprenticing with someone.

At most colleges, there are options for training to a specific job and general education courses. Courses are available during the day, evenings, weekends, online, or a combination of all of the above. If you are working full or part-time, certainly you will need to find what fits your schedule.

Next week, the topic is where to look to find courses to fit your schedule and how to get started with your future!

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