Q: I am a married mother of two who is interested in changing careers. Currently a software engineer, I would like to know what jobs, careers, are suggested for a hardworking and family-oriented person like me. I have considered real estate, recruiting, and being a loan officer.
-K. Wangolo, Via Internet
A: Many readers interested in either switching careers or finding them write us expressing one general sentiment: They are hard working. Once a qualitative trait, today, hard work is simply a given. Employees at every level of an organization are expected to work diligently and optimally. Job seekers need to focus on skill set, which will better help direct and focus the search. Because you mention being family-oriented, I imagine that you also want a career that offers time flexibility. Careers in real estate do provide the opportunity to set your own hours, but so does your current profession. Software engineering could create a variety of freelance and consulting options in information processing, such as market research, data base management, and recruiting.
Your first task is to define your work task history-not titles, but your skills, qualifications, and natural talents. Research the requirements for areas of interest and then determine what additional training and certification is needed. If the project seems overwhelming, consider career-coaching services. I recommend www.assesswith360.com, an organization that provides a number of career and corporate services including skill assessment.