In this economic climate, many people in Milwaukee have lost their jobs after a long term of employment at one place or within one profession due to reductions in force, outsourcing, and position elimination. Some professions have even become obsolete as technology advances.
These trends have created the need for many people to reinvent themselves and consider transitioning into professional areas that may not be similar to the type of work and skill set to which they are accustomed. Obviously, further education and volunteer work are some of the best ways to discover and acquire new interests and knowledge. However, this can be quite a challenge for someone who has spent many years in the same profession, industry, and workplace culture.
As rewarding as volunteer work may be – even leading to full time employment – the available openings may not be in the direction a person wishes to follow. It is one thing to get just any job out of necessity, and another to embark on an actual career path. Do not discount the idea of volunteering for at place that does not normally ask for volunteers, but will welcome your offer. You’ll learn about the company and have the opportunity to show your interests and abilities.
Attaining further education may also take a while if finances are tight or the original academic interest turns out not to be your cup of tea. This may require changes to degree and certification programs, prolonging the process. It is best to learn as much as you can about the subject and curriculum before enrollment by researching on line, visiting libraries, and contacting people within the profession.
As for workplace culture, people need to be adaptive to a new structure and atmosphere. Keep an open mind and let go of old established ways that do not fit with the current standard procedures. Focus on relating your experience to the new job rather than trying to fit the new job into your experience.
Finally, remember that regardless of what your former career was, talents such as attention to detail, anticipating client needs, and thinking outside of the box will always be an asset. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and fresh ideas.