Professional Career Change

I have worked as an auditor/accountant for the past 10 years and I currently work for one of the Big Four firms. Within the last two years I have decided that I have no desire to continue on this path, although I am not completely sure where I would like to end up. My interest right now lies in Human Resources as a compensation analyst. I have no compensation experience but I do have experience in analyzing data and critical thinking. What is the best way for me to break into this field? I realize that I would most likely have to take a pay cut also and I'm okay with that as long as I'm rewarded appropriately.

First of all, as a career counselor, my first suggestion is that you might find it helpful to talk this out with a career counselor so that you can look at why you have become unhappy in your current position. They may help you determine if you want to "run away from" or if you truly are in the market to "turn to." A counselor can also help you learn how to research a variety of fields after determining your skills, interests, aptitudes, values and needs. Even if you are willing to take a pay cut (which you most likely will have to do), you want to make as informed a decision as you can.

OK, that being said - how does one find out about working in a Human Resources department or as a compensation analyst. I might direct you to the Human Resources associations ( SHRM or HRMAC) for information, check their websites and begin to gather information. Check the government ( O*NET) sites that give career information. And most importantly, begin to set up informational interviews with actual people in the field. There is a great article on questions to ask in an informational interview on the Chicagojobs.org website. That will help you formulate your questions. The next step might be to review job listings for that position (look across the country) see what the tasks and educational requirements are and see if the leads actually interest you.

Unfortunately, many of us try to figure this all out in our heads, when the real answers come from asking a million questions of those people who are actually doing the work. Seek help and enjoy the adventure!

The Career Experts @ ChicagoJobs.org

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