Inside: Where to look for career training that will help you change careers and live the life you love.
Are you looking to make a career change soon? If so you are in very good company!
A recent poll by Fast Company found that over half of US workers are considering making a career change this year.
So odds are between you, your next-door neighbor, your dentist, and your auto mechanic, at least two of you are thinking “I’d really like to do something different in my career.”
Hopefully, your dentist and mechanic are thinking about this AFTER they are done fixing problems with sharp tools and heavy machinery, but I digress.
A changing economy, parenthood, the appeal of remote work, work-life balance, the gig economy lifestyle – there are lots of drivers for why people like you want to make a change. So, now that you know you aren’t alone in this career change conundrum, what can you do about it?
How to Change Careers in 2022
Before we get into the different training options, we need to start with the foundational stuff!
Choose a Path
First things first, figure out what you want to do! This is easier said than done for a lot of people, including busy parents like you. You’ve been doing XYZ in your career for so long, it may be hard to take a pause and think about what you truly want. And the kids don’t leave a lot of quiet thinking time lying around, amirite?
I strongly recommend that you put some time into this work though and here’s how. Put the kids to bed and catch the What’s Next Career Webinar or read a couple of chapters of When Mommy Grows Up and do the exercises. You’ll be shocked by how much insight you’ll gain into yourself and your needs with a little bit of guided self-reflection.
From there, start doing research and networking about potential paths forward to validate your idea before you get too far down the path.
Find the Career Training You Need
Once you have identified a path forward that is an ideal fit for you, research what type of training is required.
Some new career paths will be well suited to your existing experience, which is awesome. Hooray, transferable skills!
Perhaps your experience as a parent makes you a great match. Or your work experience in a related industry is highly valuable. Maybe skills you’ve built up in a side-hustle or hobby have you prepared. If so, own those skills on your resume and LinkedIn – more on that below.
However, if you’re finding that additional career training is required to do this new job well, scroll down to the list below of career training programs you can tap into in person or from the comfort of your couch.
Update Your Resume and LinkedIn
Once you know what your transferable skills are, or you’ve built new skills through career training, make sure those skills are showing up on your job application materials.
It means highlighting your key skills on your resume by sharing your accomplishments – professional, volunteer, academic, personal, etc.
It could also mean a clean slate for your resume and a new template that shows you off as the wonderful candidate you are.
(If that sounds like you, check out my two favorite templates here.)
Career Training Programs and Websites
Now let’s talk about those career training programs and websites.
Every industry is going to have different requirements and a multitude of different trainings you could access, but here’s a great list to get you started broken down by type of program.
Career Certificate Programs
Interested in getting into IT support, marketing, finance, project management, or data analytics? In many cases, you don’t need a four-year degree specific to that topic, but you do need a certification.
You can earn a career certificate through Google’s Career Certificate program in a range of different fields and get access to career support and job opportunities.
For those seeking out roles in Marketing, HubSpot Academy has a ton of recognized certificates that will help you learn techniques, strategies, and tools used in the field.
Check out Emeritus as well for online certificate programs in Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, Product Design, and Data Science, developed by top universities
Return to Work Programs
For those returning to the workforce after some time away, (I’m looking at you, stay and home moms and dads), return to work programs can be a great way to do career training while also networking and being paid!
reacHire is a great example of a return to work career training program. Through reacHire, participants get access to technical training, business training, and on the job training through “returnships” with partner organizations.
iRelaunch is another great example of a return to work program that centers on tools, resources, and training to position yourself well for career re-entry and a career change.
You may have also heard of or considered online courses which are a great option!
Through the Coursera platform, you can find online courses, certificates, and degree programs on just about everything you can think of. Check out free courses and longer paid courses that fit your needs in IT, health, finance, sales, etc.
LinkedIn Learning is also a great source for online courses. You can start with a free month of access and take courses on Photoshop, Excel, Quickbooks, Python, etc.
Small business owners are also in on the online course game and offer online courses on a range of topics that can help you pivot in your career. For example, I offer a course on how to figure out what’s next in your career. I have also personally have taken great courses on Search Engine Optimization and marketing funnels.
To get a little meta for a moment, Digital Course Academy is another online course that helps you learn how to create your own profitable online course!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to starting yelling “Drop and give me 20!”
(Unless you want to become a fitness instructor in which case, head over to these fitness instructor programs!)
The Bootcamps I’m talking about here are about coding. You know, the ones and zeros that make up all the websites and apps we rely on every day!
Nowadays you don’t necessarily need a Computer Science degree to become a software developer. Instead, you can learn how to code by going through an intensive online Bootcamp like this one offered through MIT. Some Bootcamps also offer career support which is an excellent thing to look for when comparing options.
What about careers that require hands-on training like nursing or becoming an EMT? Community Colleges are a great place to get advanced career training in these career fields.
Programs are generally not as long as an undergraduate degree or graduate degree and focus exclusively on the skills you’ll need for this new career path.
Find community college programs near you with a very simple Google search – community colleges near me. How intuitive! I promise you’ll have a good list to start with right there.
Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
I purposefully left undergraduate and graduate degree programs for last on the list because so often people think of a traditional degree program as the only way to change careers.
Not true, friends! As we’ve just talked about, there are lots of options that could be better for your career goals AND lifestyle as a busy parent.
However, let’s not count undergrad and grad degrees out. If you want to be a doctor, you’re going to need to go back and get a medical degree. If you want to be a teacher in a public school high school, in many states you need a Bachelor’s Degree and then a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education along with your teaching license.
Research the requirements of the career path you’re considering through the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook as a good starting place. Then go to the College Navigator to type in your criteria and find schools that would be a good match.
Career Change, Career Training, and You!
Your turn now, my friend!
Start with the self-evaluation piece, then go to research, and then take action to skill up for your new career.
I know it feels like a big mountain to climb. You have A TON going on in life as a working parent or soon-to-be working parent.
But trust me, you’ve got this career change and it’s going to be SO worth it.