If you’re serious about a career change, this Guide will steer you along the right direction. It covers all the nitty-gritty of starting your new career.metaphoric-obstacle
At the end of this Career Guide you’ll be on your way to your new career.

Remember…a second career is something you start while you still have a job, with the end goal of working for yourself. It’s more than a job change or career change…and it’s not just a sideline, second income or second job.

Basically, this Career Guide gives a summary of the process of starting a parallel career which involves two stages.

The first stage is when you did your career change assessment. You identified your Assets & Skillset, and your Passion, Talent or Mission. You did this by looking at your current and previous jobs? And we said that your Assets and Skillset can form the foundation of your parallel career. (To refresh your memory…go to the A&S page>>>)

And the second stage in this Parallel Career Guide has three steps. We call these ‘career change decision’ steps because each step involves decisions/choices to be made.

These ’3 career change decision’ steps are:

Step I – Decide/choose a Career Option
Step II – Decide whether the chosen option is suitable for you in a Suitability Checklist
Step III – Decide to take action in a ‘What-you-Need-to-Get-Started’ Checklist

Step I – Career Options

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b0f8d64492735107ea062Working for yourself, from employee to entrepreneur is the end goal of a new career. But the transition from employee to entrepreneur is like climbing over a wall.

Got the Guts To Be an Entrepreneur?

Remember the Berlin Wall? During the Cold War when East and West were separated by that infamous wall, many freedom-seekers risked being shot by border guards while attempting to climb over that wall. If you choose the parallel career way to be an entrepreneur, you are as brave as those freedom-seekers. You are willing to take risks (calculated ones though), make changes and set goals for your future.

The ‘fear of the unknown’ and the ‘fear of failure’ are two phobias that grip many people when they think of a career change from employee to entrepreneur. Change is often frightening and uncomfortable. Most people prefer to remain where they are, in their comfort zone if given a choice….until…events and circumstances force them to wake up! Read more

There’s so much career change advice around…in books, magazines, on the internet…or from career counsellors, coaches, mentors and here our best career change advice while you still have a job is….Escape

1. Start a parallel career instead of looking for that elusive ‘better’ job
2. Don’t miss parallel career opportunities in your current job
3. Learn from mistakes you’ve made in your present and past jobs
4. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
In this page, we’ll focus our career change advice on these two areas:

· Missed parallel career opportunities
· Mistakes you’ve made in your present and past jobs
…and learning from them.
Hopefully, in the future you’ll not look back at missed parallel career opportunities and mistakes made in your jobs. There are people who lost or left their jobs and look back with regret.

Career change advice on missed opportunities and mistakes is best given by these real-life experiences*:
The Jamieson Swiss* Experience Good Career change advice Read more

A-Career-Change-1These tips for career change  are all about YOU – because all changes in life require adjustments on your part.

About Yourself

How old are you?

Tip 1: Your age does not matter. It is your ambition, determination and drive that matters.

Are you in good health?

Tip 2: Starting a parallel career requires lots of effort on your part. If you’re weak and often sick you may not have the stamina to start one. Your ability to concentrate and focus on ideas to develop into a business may be compromised. The basics of good health are to watch your diet, get enough sleep and exercise regularly.

What are your successes?

Tip 3: Look back at your past. Did you finish your high school education? Your university education? Did you excel in any sports? Were you given new assignments or responsibilities in your job because you were good at what you did? Did you get any promotions, pay rises and bonuses due to job excellence? Do you have a happy marriage and family?

What are your failures?

Tip 4: Your failures are those questions in Tip 3 above which you answered ‘no’.

More tips for career change…

About Your Job

How long have you been working in your current job?

Tip 5: It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in your current job. What matters is whether you have ‘enough’ Assets and Skillset to start your parallel career while still working.

How many jobs have you changed in your working life? Read more

Success ButtonYou’ll be very excited when job head hunters call you for a job interview IF getting a ‘better’ job is your goal. After going through a series of questions and tests and often more interviews, you’ll feel even better (maybe even ecstatic..) when you are finally selected from amongst one thousand other candidates!

You Must Be Very Good…

You must be very good at what you do if job head hunters look for you. You must have very special qualities (qualifications, experience, achievements, skillsets) that caught the attention of job head hunters from amongst the thousands of others in their databases.

Behind the scene, there’s an organization that is willing to pay these job head hunters a month’s salary (or more) to hunt the ideal candidate for a particular position. Often, the organization also pays the travel and accommodation bills for the handful of head hunted candidates.

Imagine…others are willing to invest so much because they believe that finding the right person for a particular job is so important. If you’re that person, you owe it to yourself to invest on yourself instead of investing on others.

Don’t be too eager and willing to work for someone else. You are a rare breed because perhaps only one in fifty employees ever get job head hunted throughout their career. Break loose from the working-for-a-wage vicious cycle. Change career the parallel career way instead…start a parallel career. Read more

better-jobJob-seekers frequently look at the ten hottest career or the highest paying career lists as a guide to which are the hottest jobs around. The more determined ones then work or study towards reaching one of these ‘hot jobs’.

In a parallel career you’re NOT looking for a better job or even a ‘hot job’. It’s because you realize that a job is only as stable as whether your boss likes you…or your boss’ survival in the company…or the survival of the company…or other factors beyond your control.

You’re looking for something that lasts long-term, something you can develop while you still have a job. You are not looking for short- to medium-term gratification.  In your quest for a parallel career, the ten hottest career or highest paying career lists are used only as indicators of what jobs (and hence skillsets and know-how) are in high demand in the marketplace.

Look for Trends instead

ParallelCareer.com looks beyond the Ten Hottest Career or the Highest Paying Career lists. It looks at trends insteadÂ…social trends, technology trends, product trends, business trends, all-kinds-of trends. Look at these trends before deciding on the choice of your parallel career.
Trends + Assets & Skillset = Parallel Career Opportunity

Forget the ten hottest career or highest paying career lists! When you spot trends and combine them with your Assets and Skillset you’ll find parallel career opportunities…not jobs. Look at these examples: Read more

question_mark1Making use of Your Assets and Skill set

With a parallel career, you can have the proverbial cake (change career) and eat it as well (keep your job).

Begin your career change assessment by looking at your current and previous jobs. You must have picked up certain skills, learned new processes and practices, gained a positive reputation, met many people, gained access to customer or supplier lists, etc. If you are in a senior executive position, other perks may include: company vehicle, club membership, stay in 5-star hotels, fly business class, magazine subscriptions, overseas travel, attend exhibitions, etc. We call all these your Assets and Skill set.

The first part of your career change assessment is to identify your Assets and Skill set.

Your Assets and Skill set can form the foundation of your new career.

Combine this with the comfort of a monthly paycheck and the result is a much less stressful career change experience and a faster arrival at your end goal.Emphasize: It’s easier when you’re still getting your monthly paycheck. Example of how you can leverage your Assets and Skill set in your parallel career: Read more

job_hunt-youngYou done with you study and now it s time to look for a job. But where and how should you begin the search? Whether its your first job out of school or if you’ve been working for a while, there are a few practical ideas including where and more importantly: how to look, that can help.

WHERE: The basics

You are already on the web, one of the most efficient and effective access tools. Use it! The web has search sites such as the established “Monster Board” at www.monster.com that allow you to browse through countless opportunities. Korn Ferry’s site, www.futurestep.com, is for aspiring executives that have already been out in the job market for a few years or have just finished grad school. (It doesn’t list opportunities but allows them to gather information on you such as management style, problem solving, perspectives and experience for their database.) Traditional newspapers also have sites, and visiting them allows you to look at the classifieds, all over the globe, without having to shell out the cash and damaging trees. This is definitely cost effective – as long as you don’t have an hourly rate for Internet access. Be sure to visit company Web sites for job listings as well as other interesting information. Also check out government resources on the Web. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a good site for statistics such as average annual pay levels in metropolitan areas and average annual pay by state or industry. You can find interesting job descriptions too. If you have patience for navigation, look at their site www.bls.gov . Read more

volunteer_38Many of the largest organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, depend on their volunteers to get things done and keep their institutions rolling along.

Internships, a word which has been maligned recently thanks to the Washington merry-go-round, is an excellent way for a novice to learn about an organizations workings, particularly if it’s in a field they plan to enter as a profession.

Without volunteers, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, food banks, homeless shelters, film restoration centers, hospitals and many other groups could not exist or would have to operate within very limited service capabilities. It is the volunteer, contributing time and sometimes personal resources, that keeps all such establishments open for business.

Who is a volunteer? You are. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re volunteering, such as when we open a door for someone with an armful of packages – you’ve just volunteered to be a good samaritan without thought of compensation. Or, you may deliberately seek out a service organization and join them to volunteer on a regular basis.

What do volunteers do? Everything from A to Z. From the president of the Lions Clubs International, the worlds largest service organization, to the candy striper who wheels you down a hospital corridor, you’ve been served by a volunteer. We do many, many things in service to humanity. Perhaps one of the best known volunteers was Nobel Prize winner Sister Theresa. She chose her way of life in order to serve.

I’m not a bible pounder nor do I belong to an organized religious group but there are many waysto keep the faith. The good book charges us “. . through love serve, one another.” (Gal. 5:13). We’ve been taught since childhood that it’s better to give than to receive; maybe it’s because the rewards far outweigh the “costs”. Read more

online-educationMy wife Julia and I both take online  classes. She is in the graduate program with the University of  Texas. Julia has run into some interesting problems but has managed to overcome the small imperfections that will come in the best of programs. Her classes are all video lectures. In one class the video were not in sync with the current class schedule. Consequently, on two occasions she was tested on material for which she did not have the lecture video until after the test. OOPS!

That was indeed a surprise for my math guy but it all worked out. She says the only thing you don’t have with this type of class is instant feedback from questions to the professor unless someone in the pre-taped video class asks the question to which you need an answer. You do have the option of e-mailing your questions and will have a reply back within a day, week-ends being the exception. Read more