published Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Finding your passion through job change

Whether you are pursuing a life-long passion or looking to reinvent yourself, it is never too late to pursue a new career.

Aimee Flynn, career services director at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, offers tips on changing careers and making the most of this transition.

Hunt and gather: It's important to start with a thorough investigation into your new industry. "You are looking for general parallels between who you are and who you want to be, where you've been and where you are going," says Flynn.

Seasoned pro or newbie?: Dumping the ego is crucial. "Be open to starting fresh and embrace a sense of equal status with everyone in the classroom," she says. "Surrender to the fact that you can learn as much from a first-year student as they can from you." Network. network. network: While this is a common tip, be smart about how and with whom you network. Try to network with people already employed in your field of interest. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and can help you acquire new contacts.

Now that you're back in the classroom, go beyond it: Attend local "lunch and learns," workshops and industry-related events.

Be willing to change: "Every industry has its own tenors; its own language.

Adopt them," says Flynn. Edit your Facebook, Twitter and social networking pages to reflect who you want to be.

Revisit your resume: "Develop a new resume as a platform to highlight your critical and analytical thinking skills, your leadership abilities and willingness to collaborate, your planning and management skills, and your ability to facilitate creative thinking when faced with a problem to solve," Flynn said.

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