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How to Change Careers From Accounting

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While accounting is a stable career with plenty of room for promotion, it's not for everyone. If you're unhappy with your job as an accountant, you may want to consider changing careers. But rather than suddenly quitting your job and searching for a new one, take baby steps to figure out what you want to do and what you need to do to get there.

Decide if changing careers is what you really want to do. Don't confuse disliking your current job with disliking your career. Maybe you want to change accounting offices or move to another field of accounting. Only move forward with a career change if you are certain that accounting is not for you.

Figure out what you like to do and what you're good at. Look at your previous jobs and figure out what left you dissatisfied about them. Deciding what you want out of a new career will help you narrow down your choices.

Research careers you might be interested in. Read about the skills you'll need in order to enter those fields. Decide if you can afford to go back to school and learn any additional skills. List the jobs that involve what you like to do and determine the steps you need to take to qualify for them.

Look at your transferable skills. Accountants have several valuable skills that employers look for. Good math skills and business experience can put you at an advantage regardless of the job. If you have other types of skills or training, take those into account as well.

Update your resume. Chances are you haven't done this since you got your last job, so add any additional job experience, training and skills acquired since then. Make sure to highlight any experience you have in the field you want to enter. If you want to become a cook, for example, mention any cooking classes you have taken.

Go back to school if necessary. Many colleges offer programs for adults changing careers that will enable them to earn a degree quickly. Since you probably have an associate's degree or bachelor's degree, chances are you can transfer credits or test out of some classes and earn that new degree or certification faster.

Build up a financial buffer before you start looking for a new job. Even if you have 20 years of accounting experience, you'll probably start at the bottom in your new career.That will likely mean a serious cut in pay. Having substantial savings will alleviate any financial pressures that could come with a job transition.

Gain experience in your new field. Whether you spend a couple of afternoons a week volunteering or get a part-time job on the weekends, having even basic experience in your field of interest will stand out to employers.

Get your name out there. Don't rely on resume websites and online job boards. Look through classified advertisements in the newspaper. Send your resume to businesses you want to work for.

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