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How Career Change Programs Work

There's a Lot to Consider

If you think that job training programs are solely for the unemployed, think again. Wylie and Katie Schwieder, a Virginia couple, put their Harvard Business School degrees and lengthy corporate resumes to good use when they decided to leave their comfortable careers to become teachers.

After spending years working in corporate America, the husband and wife team enrolled in a fast-track teaching program to learn the skills they needed in the classroom. Today, Wylie teaches high school math and Katie middle school English [source: Stewart].

The Schwieders didn't take their career changes lightly. They were smart and developed a strategic plan, the most important thing experts say workers should do before changing careers in mid-life. Without a clear-cut strategy, looking for work can be exasperating [source: Hansen].

For example, experts advise that when changing careers, cash and benefits should not be your only guides. Sometimes the job that pays the most is not always the position that will make you happy. You might earn more money, but you might hate your new career, too [source: Hansen].

Also, don't change jobs just because you abhor your current work situation. Experts say that you might not really hate your career, but simply despise your boss, your coworkers or the assignments you have. You could also be bored, or underutilized. The key is to analyze what is giving you grief and make changes accordingly [source: Hansen].

Finally, don't jump ship without gaining the necessary experience and education. Sometimes you will need to go back to school for additional training, education or certificates. Volunteering, interning or working at a temp agency are good ways to gain the necessary experience that you will need to move into your next career [source: Hansen].