Professional development is often relegated to the back burner as something to be scheduled in when the timing is right and the funds are there to cover it. For those looking to make a career 180 (or perhaps a less drastic career pivot) new skills acquired through training may be critical to opening new doors.

It’s probably not too much of a shock that in my line of work as an executive resume writer, people reach out to me when they are dissatisfied at work. Many are interested in exploring something new and different.

Two March 2017 Harris Poll surveys, commissioned by the University of Phoenix, back up my experience: Of over 2,000 employee respondents, at least 58% are interested in exploring a new career, and nearly a quarter are extremely interested in making a change. What’s even more exciting is that 41% of new hires over the past two years have been career changers.

The surveys also indicate that 94% of employers feel training and upskilling are critical, and 71% of employees feel they must continue to learn new skills to meet the demands of their role.

My take on the stats? Those looking to make a change may find that professional development will pave the way, especially given the surveys’ good news that employers appear open to taking a risk on newcomers.

Overcoming The Time Hurdle

I know firsthand that time and money (or the lack thereof) can quickly torpedo training plans. When I transitioned years ago from a stay-at-home mom of four to freelance writer, and then to a full-time resume writer, finding a moment to study and learn (much less, have a moment to myself!) was tough.


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