How to Change Careers: “Job’s Aren’t Hot, People Are.”

hcicc1An increasing number of job seekers have been attending green jobs conferences and networking events and reading a burgeoning list of green career guides as part of an effort to transition into a job where they feel good about their work.

Too often they run into one of several common challenges that end up derailing their search and undermining their confidence: They’re rejected, find employers indifferent to their resume, or are totally ignored by headhunters or the companies to which they apply.

If this sounds familiar, Nick Corcodilos’s 36-page e-book, How Can I Change Careers? might help. Organized as a series of topical essays with a crib sheet at the end, it offers easy to read, harder-to-apply advice that goes beyond the simplified and watered-down ideas in many career guides to get to the truth of what makes a career switcher a good hire. Corcodilos, author of the excellent Ask the Headhunter career guide and curator of a rather busy website, also shows you how to get there.

While short, this “answer kit” is to the point and offers a smart strategy for career change—and should be very useful for those already passionate about working in some sector of the green economy. And while $12.95 may sound like a lot for such a short book, it offers narrowly focused, actionable advice from an expert in the process of career change that make it a worthwhile investment for the right buyer.

Hot People, Not Jobs

Corcodilos’s central point is that “Job’s aren’t hot, people are.” In other words, changing careers isn’t about finding an industry that’s growing at double-digit rates, it’s about understanding what you want, what a prospective employer needs, and then showing that employer that you can deliver.

Corcodilos recommends starting one’s search with a “library vacation.” A library vacation gives you a chance to figure out what you’re going to love, because, as Corcodilos puts it, “The best jobs are the jobs you burn for.” This week-long retreat at a library—surfing the web is not a substitute—is designed to help you get in touch with what it is you’re going to love, and sets the stage for doing the research that will give you the industry savvy to approach one of a handful of companies who need people who can help them solve problems.

The bigger idea is that you shouldn’t think of yourself as somebody who’s searching for a job; it’s to imagine the job you want to create—and then to create it. This is practical advice. After all, your job as an employee will be to create, expand, and maximize value, so it makes sense to think of your job as a job seeker is to show exactly how you’re going to go about doing that.

While How Can I Change Careers isn’t for everybody—passive job seekers, in particular, should stay away, and those looking to start their own business won’t find the guide especially relevant—it offers those who recognize a career change as an investment and are willing to put in the work an excellent map for how to go about changing careers.

Frank Marquardt is the author of The Solar Job Guide and Green Careers, and a contributor to How Green Is Your City? He has contributed to 100s of career guides over the past 10 years. Frank is also director of content strategy at Native Instinct, an interactive agency.

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