Financial Literacy - Careers
Career Makeover: Laurie Wiker


Laurie Wiker worked in banking for 14 years, assuming various positions. Over the course of her career, she worked in project management, quality assurance, and training and development with the same employer. Her final position was assistant vice president in information security.

Career goals

Laurie is transitioning her career from banking to the health and wellness industry. In pursuit of that goal, Laurie has completed wellness coach training and obtained certification in personal training.

Currently, she is working two part-time jobs in her new field. One is at Cardio-Kinetics, a provider of preventive medicine and exercise service. She is also freelancing for the as a wellness columnist.

She will need another source of income or another opportunity to help her replace her previous income.

Laurie Wiker

Profile: Laurie assumed many roles in the banking industry, but wants to shift into a health and wellness job.

The problem: Laurie faces two of the classic problems of anyone seeking a new career path.

The plan: To change careers, Laurie should focus on changing her role and then her industry -- or vice versa.


Laurie faces two of the classic problems of anyone seeking a new career path:
  • She wants to move into an industry in which she has no directly relevant experience and to do so from an industry that has little in common with her new path.
  • She is being forced to make a change at a time she would not have chosen, when millions of qualified people are on the job market at the same time.

In addition, she lives in a city that is far from the epicenter of the kinds of corporations she would be interested in working for. And to complicate matters, she does not want to relocate until her son graduates from the state university in four years.

Finally, Laurie has made a couple of all-too-common errors in her career marketing.

First, she is trying to be all things to all people in a catch-all resume that lists skills as far apart as project management, event coordination, fund raising, quality assurance, strategic planning, Microsoft Office and vendor relations. These are listed side-by-side, confusing any recruiter or employer doing the screening.

Also, she could be doing more to build relationships and demonstrate her value and may come across as "asking for work" even if she doesn't specifically state that she's looking for a job.

In a career transition, this is the main problem that people run into -- acting as though they need the work.

Prepared by Alanna Fero, author of "Love Made Visible: Values-Driven Approaches to Work/Life."

Next: The plan.


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