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Baby Boomers can still retire, even on a tight income, by taking steps to stretch their dollars! 

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Repurpose Your Career

by Luke Watson

You have had a great professional life and fulfilling career. You may have been very successful in your past job, but now are ready for something new, exciting and different. The problem is that you have no idea of where to begin. Some great suggestions for getting started on a personal quest for a new career may include:

Research

You don't want to go looking for a new position until you have thoroughly looked into the matter. Look up data on the potential growth in this field, the amount of education or training needed, potential opportunities for promotion, and the salaries that accompany this particular career. Geography may also play an important role as this type of career may be more prevalent in certain areas of the country.

Train

Be sure you are ready for this new venture. Take every opportunity you can to learn all the details of what it entails. Take courses and classes that are necessary for your ultimate success. For example, if you wish to become a certified teacher, look into both online and onsite certifications courses. Estimate how long a course will take and how much it will cost to complete. You may need to take vacation time from your regular job if the training is intensive or held during work hours. "Whatever it takes" should be your motto during this transition. Be prepared to study and analyze all the facts you will need to know before taking this big plunge.

Prepare

You must be well prepared to begin the search for your new career. Your application should be legible and complete. A cover letter should highlight your abilities. If you don't know how to write and lay out a resume', there are many resume services available that can help you with this sometimes complex process.

Try it First

You may wish to try out this new career before making any huge decisions. For example, if you are trying to open a coffee shop, you may want to work at an existing coffee shop for a few months. Learn all you can, work the hours, and keep your eyes and ears open for things that you would tweek or do a little differently. You made find out that you are perfect for this line of work or you may realize that it just isn't for you.

Then Start Small

Changing careers is not always a sure thing, so it is a good idea to try out your new dream job while you are still employed at your original job. Work part-time in the evening and/or on the weekends. Immerse yourself in this new line of work and get a feel for exactly what it involves. For example, if you decided to become a restaurant manager, you may be very surprised at the long hours and heavy work that may be required. If working as a freelance photographer is more your thing, you may discover that your people skills need work. Sampling the industry you are interested in may lead you to great discoveries or it may stop you from making a big mistake.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Take your time in making this big decision. Enlist the support of friends and family, save up an emergency fund, and be sure you are ready spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally before you take the huge jump to your new career.

Keep up the Momentum

Once you get started, no matter how slowly you seem to be moving, it is important to keep advancing. Don't stop and think about it, don't take a break, and don't pause to wonder if you are doing the right thing. You are beyond this now and it is vital that you keep your eye on the ball and keep moving.

Be Involved!

Stay updated on current trends. Keep on learning new skills and attend classes that pertain to your new industry. Join local professional groups and relevant clubs that will help you grow and meet other like-minded individuals. Form friendships with others that you work with so you can learn from them.

As you can see, starting a new career can be a real challenge. You will run into roadblocks, begin to doubt yourself, and maybe even think about throwing in the towel from time to time. Going through this process will make you a stronger and better person. You will have to leave your comfort zone and this can sometimes be risky, but in the end you will be exactly where you desire to be.

About the Author

Luke Watson is a highly experienced career psychologist specializing in career and life counseling. For over thirty years he has worked with individuals and groups to better their lives and careers.

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