BOOK EXCERPTPeople change their careers for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they made an unwise choice initially or the career they selected no longer exists. Often, they want to match their changing values and needs to a new set of career possibilities. Making the right plans for your future during these changing times can be difficult. The self-assessment tools provided in this book can give you more choices, broaden your options and give you the confidence that you are on the right career path. A self-assessment can reveal your characteristics, interests, values and skills. It will define your strengths and your weaknesses. Looking for a match between these and the work you are considering is the most important step you can take before you write a resume or begin your job search. In fact, when the time comes to write your resume and prepare for a job interview, you will find the task easier if you have completed the self-assessment process first! Recognizing the Need for Change If you are already working, there are three main reasons why a career change might be right for you. First, it could be that you have the right job with the wrong company. For example, you may love the work you do as an administrative assistant, but you may not like the philosophy of the company, or you may find that you cannot stand behind their mission. Their values are not a match for yours. If the environment, including the people, is not a good fit for you, even the right work you do will feel like the wrong job. The second reason could be that you have the wrong position in the right company. In this case, you should look at your passions, interests and skills and find a way to put them to use in your own position or in another job within the same company. For some people, it might be about finding time outside of work to make use of those skills. The third reason that career change might be right for you is that job security is an illusion. You might love your job and your company, but the company could move, reorganize, or go out of business due to various unforeseeable circumstances. This is why determining your skills and talents is such an important strategy in career development – no matter where you go, you take those skills and talents with you. In this book, Champion Your Career -Winning in the World of Work, we ‘ll delve into identifying your interests, values and skills and then provide you with the concrete tools to choose, develop and change your career, no matter what stage of life you are currently in. These will include networking, goal setting, researching and decision-making. Sections are dedicated to writing resumes, cover letters and follow-up letters as well as appropriate dress attire and other interview strategies. Students will find specific guidance for launching a new career after college or university. Retirees will learn how to retire with fire by enlivening their retirement years with work they are passionate about. So, get ready to champion your career! AUTHOR INSIGHT Aim for at least 70% job satisfaction. When the figure starts to go down to 50% job satisfaction, it means that half the time something is not right, something is out of place. You then must start looking honestly at your situation and determine if you are “stuck” in the job. Some people might accept a 50% satisfaction level from their work life, because perhaps they happily leave their job at the office and then come home an pursue a hobby like playing music.