If changing jobs or careers is on your mind, you are not alone. A Money magazine survey reveals that 60 percent of people are looking for a "fresh start" job. Jean talks with Jennifer Merritt, a special projects editor for Money , about the 20 best jobs in America for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Jennifer says the people surveyed who are looking for a new job or career varied from young people to retired military personnel and baby boomers. "So many people were thinking about making a change, trying to make a change or considering it," Jennifer says. "We thought it would be a good idea to take a peek at what kind of a second act is best for all these different people."
Top five career picks for the young and restless: Product/brand manager, staff nurse, property manager, public accountant, IT generalist, engineer
Many people who fall into the category of young and restless have been in the workforce for five or six years and are looking for higher pay, a chance of advancement and some control, Jennifer says. Anything you can do to prove you are ready to jump into a new career will help you transition to a new job, she says. "They are the group that is perhaps sought after, but also the most challenged at finding a new job," Jennifer says. "They have been schooled in a certain career and they have to show a commitment that they are ready for this next career." You may have to take classes, volunteer your time or get a different degree to get into a new field.
Becoming a nurse will guarantee you a job for years to come, Jennifer says, with more than 1 million job openings for nurses in the next eight years. "You could be a traveling nurse and see the country," she says. "You could get that three-day-a-week work schedule right now."
Top five career picks for parents returning to work: Executive recruiter, nonprofit manager, sales representative, marketing analyst, accountant
Jennifer says many of the top jobs and careers for parents going back to work offer flexible schedules. Joining some professional organizations and attending conferences will help you get a firm handle on your chosen field, she says. If you are looking to get back into your former career, Jennifer says you need to reach out to your contacts. "Stay involved in your network—try to have lunch with old colleagues."
Top five career picks for military personnel getting into the private sector: Operations or intelligence analyst, network systems manager, field service engineer, operations manager logistics, senior trainer/training manager
Military personnel often retire in their 40s and want to continue working in a new career. Jennifer says translating a military career into a second-act job means dropping some of the military lifestyle. "Drop the sirs and ma'ams—loosen up a little so you are not seen as too stiff," Jennifer says. When moving from the military to the private sector, Jennifer says you should use your experience and look for an easy transition into operations or intelligence fields, where you can use your security clearance and background.
Top five career picks for people over 50: Nonprofit executive, patient rep, celebrant, financial adviser, teacher
Jennifer says getting into the nonprofit sector, becoming a patient representative in healthcare or a celebrant who performs at weddings, are all fulfilling jobs that many baby boomers are looking for. "[They are] looking for something meaningful that helps their community become better, while still getting a paycheck," Jennifer says. Your age and experience can also be an advantage if you are trying to market yourself as a consultant in your field. "You know how to cut costs, you may have dealt with a problem a company has gone through before," Jennifer says.