The Breen Center for Graduate Success staff knows what it means to manage a busy schedule and commitments from your family, work, personal, and school life. We are here to assist you as you navigate the process of finding a new career, advancing in your current role or company, or as you make a career transition. In order to move toward your long-term career aspirations, it is vital that you continue to succeed in your current role. This means not only completing the requirements of the job, but doing so in a professional manner. In all your work activities, think about how you want others to perceive you as a professional. Ensure your actions support that goal.
What do I know about myself?
- How will I be able to balance work/life issues and demands?
- How do I hope to use my degree?
- How do my past skills, education, and experiences impact my future decisions and options?
- What are my immediate, short, and long-range goals?
- What challenges do I anticipate?
- Why do I want to make a change?
- What aspects of the new career field appeal to me?
- Do I have an idea of what to expect in terms of pay, responsibilities, advancement opportunities, and work-life balance when it comes to my targeted field?
- Is my perception of a new career field realistic?
What are my options?
As an online learner, you have the option to connect with and utilize the services of the Breen Center for Graduate Success in a number of ways:
- Full access to Handshake, our online career management platform (Access through MyLVC)
- Full access to Big Interview, our online mock interview tool (access through website)
- Access to our online resources and guidebooks
- An invitation to join us at all Breen Center events: Job Fairs, Mock Interview Mania Weeks, Pizza with Professionals events + more
- Join the Lebanon Valley College Professional Network on LinkedIn
- Utilize LinkedIn to research the careers of LVC alumni and determine who you can connect with for possible informational interviews, job shadowing, and future opportunities
- The ability to schedule appointments with our staff throughout the year - we can work with your schedule and needs to meet in-person, over the phone, or virtually through a WebEx or Skype appointment. You can schedule an appointment online via Handshake if you are available to work during business hours, or email/call the office (email@example.com | 717.867.6560) to schedule an appointment over the lunch hour or in the evening.
Developing a Plan
Learn about requirements
It's critical to understand the skills and knowledge needed in the new field so you can effectively market the ones you have and acquire those you do not have.
You can identify job requirements by:
- Reviewing job postings for key skills, experiences and competencies required
- Conducting informational interviews with professionals who are working in the new field to inquire about their career path and the skills they use
- Explore professional association websites to learn about the field and read member biographies
- Participating in relevant LinkedIn groups and paying attention to the keywords and topic areas
- Reading LinkedIn profiles of professionals working in positions of interest
Connect the Dots
Employers will be interested in understanding how your work experience, knowledge, and skills align to the future role, so take the time now to develop a well thought out rationale for making this career shift.
- Identifying and articulating the connection between your work history and the career you are pursuing. E.g., have you always enjoyed wokring on the business side of your counseling practice and want to now transition into finance? Have you been recognized for your training ability in your role as a retail manager and want to seek a full-time training position?
- Reflecting on and incorporating the interests, passion, and desires that are driving the change
- Practicing your 30-second elevator speech before using it in an informational interview or job interview
- Asking for feedback from trusted individuals on whether they understand the connection and find your elevator speech compelling
- Reworking your elevator speech and practicing it as you gain more information about the new field
Meeting with a career advisor can answer some of the following questions about searching for employment:
- Should I list my entire work/educational history on my resume?
- How do I search for jobs in a specific geographic location?
- Should I disclose my age when applying for positions?
- Will my age work against me when looking for a job?
Questions you may want to ask an employer
- What type of experience are you seeking in applicants?
- How might I best market myself to your company?
- What skills or attributes would stand out to you or your company to influence a hiring decision?
Career Development, Job Search, and Networking Resources
Build New Connections
- Networking is an essential job search strategy, particularly when making a career change. Building relationships with professionals in your new field will give you insights into what it it takes to enter and be successful in the target area. It may also give you access to the hidden job market. These strategies will help you to get started:
- Join a professional association and get involved by attending events and volunteering for committees and board positions
- Identify and reach out to existing contacts who work in your target field
- Leverage online social networking tools to expand your network and learn from subject matter experts in your field
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your targeted field to learn about common career paths, tips for breaking in to the new field, and to "be known" in the new field
- Networking Guidebook
- Networking in an Online Program
Developing Your Personal and Career Brand
- Establishing a Web Presence
- Google Yourself - What is your web presence?
- Personal Branding as an Introvert: How do you do it?
- Effectively using your Personal Brand to Navigate a Career Change
Cost of Career Transitions and Relocation
Web Resources and Tools
- What's Next
- Making Your Next Move
- AARP Job Board
- Encore Careers
- Retired Brains
- Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education
- Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
- Portfolio Life, by Dave Corbett
- The Big Shift, by Marc Freedman
- The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 years after 50, by Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot