2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2016 9:31 AM by Lyn Swett Miller

    Visualizing the career you want

    Lynn Gangone


      Did you jump right out of school into your dream job?  Did not think so.


      Most of us begin in an entry-level position, and work our way up. Some take years to find that perfect fit.


      Depending on whom you ask, a career path can be clear, convoluted, or even a downright left-turn from where you began. Some switch careers two or three times.


      So, how do you get where you want to go?


      • 1. Figure out what you like. Ideally, this would happen before or during your formal education so you can acquire the appropriate credentials up front. However, if you didn't have this all figured out at 18, it's okay. Many people shift careers after years or even decades of doing something else.


      • 2. Find people who are doing the kind of job you want, and get to know them. Pick their brains about what they do, and what skills and temperament they need to do their job most effectively. They may ultimately help you get into that field, or at least introduce you to people who can.


      • 3. Learn lots of skills. If you want to try something different, you will likely need additional education or practical training. If you cannot afford to go back to college, consider one-off classes on specific topics. Many cities offer these kinds of classes at community colleges. Websites such as Lynda.com, Coursera.com, and iTunes University have many video classes you can stream at home. (Be aware: many websites charge a monthly or per-class fee.)


      • 4. Buckle down and create a plan. The career you want may mean a shift from what you're currently doing. Or, it may just mean expanding your experience within your current position or field. No matter what your ideal is, the best way to achieve it is with an executable action plan that outlines realistic steps and timelines.


      It's never too late to start the career you've always dreamed of!



      Please note that TIAA-CREF and its affiliates do not endorse nor are affiliated with the third-party resources, which are being provided merely as examples.