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Your New Job: Tips to help you change careers

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they want to switch careers post-pandemic. Job experts say there are ways to make the change easier

CLEVELAND — So many people are looking to switch careers after the pandemic. A recent study by Prudential Financial found more than a quarter of employees surveyed plan to make the switch. The majority say it's because they had time to rethink their skillset. If you're one of them, there are things you should know.

Allison Newbold is one of those people. She holds a master's degree in history from Cleveland State, where she learned to write grants and minored in legal studies. She raised money for nonprofits while a supervisor at Whole Foods, and was even a paralegal for a brief time.

The problem? She has no idea where she wants to go.

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Enter Kris McGuigan, founder of career development firm Professional Courage. McGuigan says the fist step to figuring out what you want is to think about what you liked about previous jobs. If this is your first job, figure out what you enjoy doing.

"A lot of people think that you're supposed to wait until a bolt of lightning strikes out of the sky to give you a sense of what you were meant to do," McGuigan says. "I actually think there's a much more standard kind of linear process that we can take."

Newbold liked her fundraising and the legal work, but says she keeps getting rejected.

"A lot of firms want three to five years experience and I don't have that," she said. "And they don't care about my master's at all. They just want like a high school diploma and the work experience."

McGuigan says part of the issue might be that for online applications, many companies use software that asks screening questions, like, "Do you have the required experience?"

"I would encourage you to actually answer 'yes' to that question," she said. "Master's degree experience included."

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She says you should absolutely apply for jobs even if you don't have the required experience, which gives you, "the opportunity to at least pass through the system and then let the human being on the other side make a determination," as to whether your experience is adequate.

For those still exploring, McGuigan says use Google to help "create" your ideal job, by stringing together search words. For Newbold that would be "fundraising," "paralegal," "grant writing."

"It's going to result in a variety of different job titles that will start to open your understanding of what's our there and available," McGuigan said.

Using that tip, Newbold found a job listing for a grant writer for the Legal Aid Society, and a LinkedIn profile for someone who currently does all three.

Which takes us to McGuigan's third tip: never stop networking.

"Reaching out to individuals, making sure that you're showing some admiration and respect for what they have done in that field might spark them to have a conversation with you about their own experience,"  which McGuigan said can give you, "some additional insights to determine is that a field that you do want to pursue"

If you'd like to schedule a 30-minute consultation with McGuigan, you can at here, but does require a $75 fee. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn, where she does publish quite a few free resources.

You can check out the 10 career categories offering the most remote jobs, and the soft skills you need to succeed in these emerging remote careers here.