Determine What Resources You'll Need
How you prepare for your first career move will depend on
your background and where you're headed. People in some positions--doctors,
lawyers, physical therapists, social workers, teachers--hold
specific educational degrees. Other careers might involve
passing certification tests, such as those for the civil service,
accounting, and personal training.
If your field has educational or certification regulations,
your first step is to make sure you meet them. If you fall
short, you may need to go back
to school to make the grade.
Even entry-level positions in fields without legal or professional
requirements usually have minimum standards. For instance,
if you want to be a Web page designer, you'll need to know
how to use certain graphics programs. If you're looking for
a job as a corporate trainer, you must be able to speak and
You can determine what the typical requirements are for the
position you're seeking by looking at job announcements on
in the newspaper
classifieds, or by networking
and asking people with first-hand knowledge what skills make
a successful job candidate.
Once you know what education, abilities, and other qualities
you'll need, develop a plan for how to get those you don't
have. Going back
to school isn't your only option; you can also get an
internship or take a temporary
job to help fill in some of the gaps in your experience.