According to a recent poll, over half of workers in the U.S. want to change careers. Millennials may be chief among this crowd: Numerous reports, like the one mentioned in this Forbes article, have suggested that this generation plans to make many career moves throughout their lifetime.
Making a change can be a difficult and daunting task. If you’re among the ranks considering your next step, here are some of my picks for free resources to help you navigate a transition:
1) The Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put together this thorough and comprehensive guide to careers of all kinds, free for anyone to use. You can search careers by industry, median pay or even projected growth rate to find the hottest jobs of tomorrow. Each career has a profile page that includes information about “What They Do,” “How to Become One” and even a “Similar Jobs” area to help your explore brother and sister occupations.
On Meetup, you can find groups of people in your area meeting about almost any subject, including career and professional topics. Meeting new people will build your network, and, over and over again, it’s been proven that networking is the best way to land a job.
No list of free career resources is complete without a mention of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network. Now with over 225 million members, more than 3 million company pages and over 1 ½ million groups, LinkedIn has become the online hotspot for professionals to connect through common bonds and interests. Though there are options to pay for an upgraded account, you can still accomplish a lot with a free account.
4) Your college’s career services office
College students (and, in many cases, grads!) can turn for free advice to their campus experts: career services officers. These are employees of the institution who are tasked with providing career counseling, career and professional development events and opportunities to connect with recruiting employers. Many of their resources are available online, too. If you haven’t tapped this resource yet, check it out.
Tweetchats are like Meetups, only they take place on Twitter. They are conversations that occur at a scheduled date and time every week, hosted and moderated by someone with a passion for a topic. You can check out a crowdsourced list of tweetchats via this open Google Doc or see a searchable list compiled by TweetReports.
With a total cost of $0, there’s little risk involved in trying out some of these methods to step up your job search. Have you used any of these or have some of your own to suggest?