New year’s check-in; revitalize your career

The start of a new year can provide both the motivation and determination to revitalize your career. Whether by enhancing your skills, expanding your network, or learning more about trends and opportunities in your local job market, you can find up-to-date information and inspiration on CareerOneStop.

Explore these three strategies:

Update your credentials, knowledge, skills, or training

  • Did you know earning a certification can help you qualify for some jobs, or make a great impression with employers? A certification is an award you earn by passing a test that shows you have skills or knowledge in an occupation, industry, or technology. You can prepare for a certification exam by taking a course at a community college or through a certification sponsor’s program. Courses typically take between a few weeks to several months.

    Search for certifications related to your field using the Certification Finder. Pay special attention to listings with chili peppers; these denote “in demand”.  
  • Interested in an entirely new career? You may be able to train in a matter of months, or embark on a longer training program, depending on your goals. Use the Local Training Finder to search for programs in your city, state, or ZIP code.

    For example, if you’re interested in web design, you can search for programs, then filter by the length of program you want to study for. Web design programs range from short-term certificate programs (12 weeks to 1 year), to programs lasting less than 2 years, up to 4-year college degrees, and graduate classes.
  • Need to keep your time investment short for now? Explore resources for free online training, and then list any classes you complete on your resume and LinkedIn profile to update your skills section.

Use information on your local job market to explore career options with staying power

  • Curious about how a new career might compare to your current work? You can see how the two stack up next to each other on Compare Occupations. You’ll see typical salaries for both fields, shared similar skills and knowledge, and any skills gaps between them. Also learn about projected job growth for each, and any training, licensure, or certifications that would help you qualify for the new field.
  • Check out What’s Hot to find out which careers in your state are fastest-growing, highest-paying, have the most job openings, have the largest total employment numbers, or are in decline.
  • Research Industries offers similar trend reports at the broader industry level, such as health care, IT, or human services. If your skills and experience are more general, such as marketing, sales, human resources, administration, or many IT careers, you may be able to transfer to other industries. So take time to learn which industries in your state have the most potential for growth and stability.
  • Use the Job Finder to scan current job postings in your field, or a field you’re considering. What are some keywords that stand out? Do you notice certain themes in the qualifications employers are seeking? How does the pay stack up with your current salary?

Expand your network and update knowledge in your field by joining a professional association

  • Membership in a professional association can offer a variety of benefits. Typically, assocations provide networking opportunities to meet people who work in the profession, training opportunities to learn up-to-date skills, and many sponsor conferences to explore current trends and new developments in the field.

    Many associations also offer a “Career Center” section, listing job openings that may only be available to view by members. Use the Professional Association Finder to explore associations in your field.
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