If you've been working (or job hunting) for a long time, you might not think to challenge the assumption that you should stay in this same field. But looking at your work experience with blinders on might cause you to miss out on some surprising (and fulfilling) job opportunities.
Whether you're looking for a retirement job or just a change of pace – don't forget to consider how you can leverage your skills to make a career shift.
Surprisingly successful career shifts:
From dough to driver: Jim was retired from a bakery management position and going crazy with boredom. What was his next career move? He applied for a job as a school bus driver. The fact that he had been a part-time volunteer EMT and ambulance driver (while handling his regular job) for many years made him a shoe-in.
From corporate to cars: John worked as a manager in a large corporation, but unexpectedly he found himself a victim of downsizing. He had commuted for years and liked driving. His clean driving record despite the years and mileage made him an easy hire as a driver for Enterprise Car Rental.
From public servant to private eye: Cindy was a policewoman in a busy county for 26 years. She took early retirement but was not ready to stop working. She became a private investigator and now runs her own successful business. The excellent reputation she had built through her police work and her old contacts helped her establish her new business quickly.
From community to consultant: Doris worked as a social worker for a health department for 30 years. She had worked with many patients with HIV and had made it her business to learn as much about how services and care for persons with HIV should be delivered. Utilizing her experience and knowledge, she developed an entirely new career by becoming a consultant to HIV grant providers. She now works for herself and sets her own hours.
From academia to active: Sue was a college professor. Her husband's job required a move out of state. When they moved, she could not find a teaching job. Frustrated, she threw herself into her personal passion, exercise and specifically exercise that involved music or dance. She became accomplished at it, and, having nothing else to do, she became certified to teach step aerobics, yoga and her personal favorite Zumba. Now she teaches at several fitness center locations and can't wait to get up every morning.
Identify the skills developed by the activities of your life, both personal and professional, and see where they fit in the world of current job opportunities.
Don't let your previous work experience typecast you and contain you within a particular field - when you take a look at your basic skills instead of the jobs that helped you hone them, you can unlock new career opportunities that may surprise and delight you!