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Updating skills

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  • Updating skills

    I think we have some well-educated, savvy posters here at WHF. If you are a mature professional, what rut do you find yourself in, that must be continually improved in order to stay marketable and relevant in your job today? What changes have you found that must be met with openness and aggressive self-improvement to keep your skills sharp and stay at the top of your field?

    I've held my dream job for the past 10+ years. It's a niche, that doesn't easily spill over into other careers. I have a degree and a science background, so of course, that is relevant in other jobs, but my particular skill set is rather specialized. While I love my chosen field, the time has come to move on, for various reasons. What I've found is that I'm over-qualified for many things, yet woe-fully underqualified for many positions requiring the same education, simply because my focus has been so specialized. Other candidates will cast a shadow over me quickly. What I hope to do is to acquire some additional skills that will help set me apart from others. There's simply only a market for my skills, in my particular niche. I sort of painted myself into a corner, so to speak.

    As you've aged, what have you found you need to continually update and keep general knowledge of in the workforce? I feel as though, the past 14 years since I graduated and dove whole-heartedly into my career, I sort of buried my head, and pushed forward and didn't keep a broad enough net for general changes, not just in my profession, but in the expectations with employers, and the changing landscape of professionalism in America. The way to communicate, to network, navigate and work the system/game, etc.

    What have you done to keep yourself sharp, and current as you've aged and experienced your profession. How have you not settled into your ways, and became stagnant? How have you kept your ideas and inspirations fresh and udpated?


  • #2
    I am not a career women such as yourself but have had numerous jobs
    at one point I start taking graduate level courses but since I couldn't decide on one path, it wasn't worth the expense and stopped

    my degree plus volunteer work did help me get most of my jobs plus I like education so along the way I've taken other credit classes at the community college (over a years worth) as well as non credit classes

    I've had supervisory experience so that has helped



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    • #3
      I went to community college for ten years starting at forty to build up my computer science background. I had a different focus than I did in my twenties. I believe my taking courses was the difference in advancing. I made sure that I only got A grades. The challenge kept my mind sharp.
      I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
      ...
      Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

      From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

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      • #4
        Jns I am considering very heavily the option of additional classes. The area of focus is the big question.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
          The area of focus is the big question.
          have you ever considered teaching?

          I know several people who switched to teaching for a second career

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          • #6
            or real estate?

            home prices are rapidly increasing
            real estate is also another field that people often go into as a second career

            or your own business?



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            • #7
              I heartily recommend junior college or community college for gaining skills in a new direction. I found the professors there interested in teaching students new skills as opposed to my experience at a school that granted bachelor, master and doctorate degrees where the professors were inconvenienced by teaching undergraduates.
              I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
              ...
              Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

              From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

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              • #8
                I did consider teaching, and would still be open to it, if positions were to open up in the right program. My resume is on the list at the college. Those jobs are a 10, and they're hard to get into.

                Real estate, actually interested me very much. I looked at the expected salary for agents and was shocked at the hours vs income. Not an attractive option.

                Jns, we actually have a great couple of colleges here in town. I attended one when I was still deciding what to do, and it was the best education I ever got. That would be where I'd return, for sure.

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                • #9
                  I have been working at a charity of almost 10 years now. It is a job I love. I also have a job as a writer, and that was my dream. I keep my skills up-to-date and always use brain power. I am happy where I am and carry on working.

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                  • #10
                    Sigh....
                    So I've reapplied for the upcoming semester.
                    I feel completely out of place trying to get back into college at this stage in my life and career.
                    So discouraging, yet I am happy to have the option to do more.
                    Such mixed feelings.

                    Brought back memories.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Popcorn&Candy View Post
                      I have been working at a charity of almost 10 years now. It is a job I love. I also have a job as a writer, and that was my dream. I keep my skills up-to-date and always use brain power. I am happy where I am and carry on working.
                      Hmmm, your skills is too good. Job of writer is really attractive and wonderful. My skills is gardening and a writer. I love this two jobs. Gardening is my hobby and job of writer is my love.

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                      • #12
                        I have to admit, I'm getting really discouraged, depressed and overall just beaten down by this whole process.
                        I decided not to take those classes...since I AM actively looking for work, and NEED to be getting back to work. Paying out of pocket, I may lose that money if I get a job that overlaps class time. And I'm trying not to deplete savings more than necessary, or incur debt during this time...

                        I suppose it wouldn't be quite as difficult if I weren't trying to change my field altogether. What to do...
                        I'm spending hours looking. Just the process of looking, and applying is taking the time of a part time job, at least. It's rough!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
                          I suppose it wouldn't be quite as difficult if I weren't trying to change my field altogether. What to do...
                          sorry you're getting discouraged!

                          we paid for a company to help husband when his job was eliminated
                          this is what they did:

                          they analyzed his personality by talking with him/taking tests and pointed out his strengths etc
                          think they also practiced interviewing skills with him
                          he had to pick his interests and they printed out companies that would fit

                          he was told to apply to every one of the companies; he sent probably 60-100 resumes (guessing)
                          he also attended local informational and support groups for people out of work (he did not want to do this but I suggested it)

                          he went to every interview offered even if he knew he wasn't qualified including out of state interviews
                          he took a job out of his field, for thousands of dollars less than he was making at previous job but it had potential for growth

                          he also did not like the job for first few years until company moved into another job he ended up liking

                          the company who helped him find a job opened him up to wide possibilities which which was the biggest gain
                          as many people do stick to what they went to school for, don't venture outside a certain level of comfort
                          Last edited by amy40; 01-08-2018, 03:13 PM. Reason: they worked on resume too

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                          • #14
                            It's only 2 months and I am told that isn't anything to be surprised about.

                            I'm submitting probably 4 resumes (average) per week, and I'm expecting a pay decrease. I'm willing to drive, willing to accept a lot of perceived negatives, for a job with growth potential.

                            I think I need my resume rewritten tho.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
                              I think I need my resume rewritten tho.
                              they worked on his resume, too

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