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Taking Your Career in a New Direction

Posted on: May 5th, 2010 by Karen Bennett

If you’re thinking of taking your career in a new direction, there are a variety of opportunities to change gears without taking a step out of our industry. After all, our industry is comprised of hundreds of different employers ranging from cable operators and technology firms to broadcast stations, cable networks, and more.

Within each of those organizations there are an array of positions and departments that may offer you a way to apply years of industry experience in a whole new way. So how should you go about making a change in your career path? Let’s take a look at the process.

Take Stock

Next, look at your current skills and compare them to the ones required for your new career track. What capabilities are you missing and how can you gain them? Serving on a task force or project team that is focused on an effort outside of your current scope of job responsibilities can be a great option. Seeking out educational opportunities and volunteering are two other options. However you choose to go about it, you should ensure you’re qualified for the positions before you start pursuing job opportunities.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

The good news is that many skills transfer across career paths, so make sure your resume highlights the experience you’ve gained over the years and your accomplishments. Team player with a proven track record for delivering results-who doesn’t want that?

If you need some help recapping the highlights of your career, take some time to read your performance reviews from prior years. They serve as a nice summary of your strengths and achievements.

Another tip: don’t limit yourself by only highlighting the experience gained in your most recent jobs. Instead, assess all of the knowledge and skills you’ve amassed while working on committees and task forces, serving on boards, or providing community service. For instance, if you’ve written press releases for your community playhouse and you’re interested in crossing over to the public relations field, highlight that experience on your resume in a section titled Core Competency or Key Experience.

Stay in the Know

Your new dream job may be right under your nose. Stay abreast of developments at your current place of employment to identify openings that interest you. In addition, acquisitions, mergers, product and program launches, technological advancements and other activities can create a wave of career opportunities. Read the trade publications regularly so you’ll have a finger on the pulse of developments as they occur.

Rub Elbows

Classic networking can help you expand your contacts beyond your current profession, industry segment or geographic location and help fuel your career change. Active membership in professional associations like CTHRA, CTAM, SCTE, WICT, NAMIC, ACC and others provide an excellent forum for developing relationships and building your knowledge via their educational offerings.

Stay On Course

Like any worthwhile endeavor, taking your career in a new direction will take time and effort. Periodically assess your strategy and adjust it as needed, stay on course by reiterating your original goals, and keep up your activity to foster results. Changing careers is a courageous undertaking, and CTHRA wishes you all the best in your efforts!


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You Asked We Answered

Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

Answer: Yes, taking a job, sometimes any job particularly if you have not worked in a while is good not only for your paycheck but for your mental health as you search for the job you really want. There is no shame in accepting work for honest pay. You are in transition and you need to remind yourself of that and not feel bad if the job you have now or are considering isn't willing to pay you what you are worth. There will be a job out there that will and you need to use all of your resources available including interim work to realize your goals. Taking a low paying job in the meantime may bruise your ego but it won't kill your pride or your wallet.

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