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Losing a job is never easy, but choosing to view this time as an opportunity instead of a crisis is commendable. Here are some steps you can take while deciding on your next career choice.

1. Take a step back

Take a moment to look at where you stand career-wise. Where do you want to go next? Would a complete career change be in your best interest, or would you do better with a small shift, such as a change in position within the same field?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you gain clarity on your future career path:

  • What did I love about my old job?
  • What did I really not like about my old job?
  • What valuable skills and experience did I gain at my old job that could help me move forward?
  • What are my unique strengths?
  • Which parts of my old job played to those strengths?
  • What were my long-term career goals 10, 20 or even 30 years ago?
  • Have I achieved those goals? If not, what has stopped me from reaching them?

2. Narrow down your choices

Once you have some idea of what you’d like to do now, jot down your job options for review. Narrow down your list until you have less than five choices.

Consider these factors as you work through the list:

  • The career should play to your natural strengths. It’s easier to sharpen an existing skill than building one from scratch.
  • The expected salary should meet your needs. Check out Payscale.com to look up some salary averages.
  • The field or career you choose to pursue should align with your personality. Some people do better in administrative positions; some only feel fulfilled when working hands-on, and others thrive in creative work.

3. Build a killer resume

Your resume is your passport to that dream job. Make yours stand out from the pack by polishing it until it truly shines.

You can download a basic resume template from Resume Gig or Resume Now. Include your complete educational background, career history, and a select few references who can vouch for your skills and reliability. Triple-check the spelling and grammar before submitting your resume to a potential employer.

 

4. Network and job-hunt

Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job. Be sure to use social media, too! Tell them about the kind of job you’re looking for, and ask if they know of any open positions that might suit you. They can also help out by providing contacts that can lead you in the right direction. Follow up every few weeks to remind people that you’re still job-hunting.

If friends and family can’t help out, you can also look up available positions in your chosen field and pursue them directly. Take a look at sites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn.com to start your search.

 

Stay positive and proactive! Your dream job is out there waiting for you. Happy Hunting!