Next-level Career Planning

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Research opportunities

Investigate the options in different types of careers. Moving to a different industry might prove the most difficult since you have not established a track record. Research leading companies in a particular industry, establish a network of contacts, arrange informal telephone calls or lunch with people and recruiters working the industry and start networking.

Another option is to look for contract opportunities. Some businesses hire on a contract basis during hard economic periods. These opportunities are typically opened for specific short term projects, two years or less. In general, hourly rates can be higher than that of employees, but the rate assumes you will pay for taxes, insurance and travel-related expenses from the payment. This is the best way to gain exposure to a new industry that could lead to a more permanent position if desired, or you could continue contracting with other companies on new projects.

Business networking websites like are excellent sources of contacts for every type of industry. These sites also have discussion groups created specifically to address issues within an industry.

Refresh resume and interview

Your resume should be professional and tailored to provide the best exposure to your chosen career. Posting the resume online will provide the greatest amount of visibility to potential employers. Remember to check the proper business categories you are targeting and provide keywords that will make the resume more visible to searches. Most hiring starts with screening from a third party recruitment firm.

Assess your lifestyle

The most obvious impact of changing careers is the effect it has on your family, finances and lifestyle. Expect tradeoffs. This is a new beginning where you need to prove yourself again, but that is the reality of moving your career to the next level.

McNamara is president of Applied Wireless, Cape Coral, FL.

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