When former USA president Jimmy Carter left the oval office in 1981, after a largely unsuccessful one-term presidency many thought he had reached the end of his career in public service which had begun in 1963 when he was elected as Georgia state senator. But Carter has remained active in public sector, and in 2002 he received the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development’.
Research has shown that majority of people experience at least 3 major career changes and 12 job changes during their working lives and with the growing impact of technology, the pace of change may be faster in the 21st century. The dictionary defines a career, as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.
We’ve all heard that unemployment is a serious problem in the developing nations. However, for people who have reached the retirement age, those who were fired from earlier jobs or those who are tired of their current jobs, the process of transitioning to the next career is long and complicated but with a little bit effort one can repackage existing skill build a new and rewarding career despite the present circumstances.
How to Repackage skills for Career Transition.
Career Transitions involve three stages: (1). the ending stage, (2) a neutral stage, and (3) a new beginning. A new start cannot be superimposed on the old, the great teacher said,” No one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins”.(Mark 2;22) you need to pull apart the old ideas and give space in yourself and your life for the creative act of constructing a new career.
1. Understand your ‘Why‘
Many people get to retired, fired or get just tired with what their jobs and they haven’t stopped to figure out Why. You’ve got to get clear on the why before you move towards something new. Otherwise, you could end up in a different spot, but get same results. Let’s face, when you retire or get fired from employment, it’s people and factors outside you that have figured out that you are no longer suitable to work in a certain place. Starting with the Why will help you get personal conviction and personal perspective of why you are here and how to move on. Author Simon Sinek say this about understanding your why, “Once you know your WHY, you have a choice to live it every day. Living it means consistently taking actions that are in alignment with the things you say…“.
2. Get Clear on What Skills you Have
Examine your skills by listing your top ten achievements or career events that you are most proud of. Your achievements, which are your richest source of information will provide you with concrete and tangible evidence of what you have done so far and what you possess.To better understand what skills you possess,use what I call ‘the 1930 skill test”.Imagine you are in the 1930, in a village somewhere in Africa.You have no education and you haven’t heard about Christianity/Islam. What skills would you be using; for example, for me I still believe people will be coming to me for guidance , since listening and responsiveness are my natural skills. What would yours be? Start there.
3. Understand what are your Transferable Skills
Although different jobs would require a different kind of skill sets, transferable skills are incredibly valuable to employers. Not only do they show that you’d be a good fit for the team, transferable skills can also demonstrate what a you bring to a role, and how much you learnt from previous positions or experiences and these could be skills that potential employers are looking for.
Some transferrable skills include:
· Time management.
· Delegation skills
· Research & Analyzing.
· Critical thinking.
4. Use the informal Job Searching Networks.
Research as pointed out that at least 60% – some report even higher statistics – of all jobs are found by networking. Build contacts – friends, family, neighbors, college alumni, people in associations – anyone who might help generate information and job leads.
5.Be Willing to Start In a Lower Position
Taking a lesser position known as downshifting, can help move your career forward if the job fits into a larger long-term plan.