Author Topic: Making a career change  (Read 2335 times)

BC_Goldman

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Making a career change
« on: July 09, 2013, 07:00:21 PM »
So for the last 2.5 years, I've worked as a Material Expediter contractor at a government warehouse. Basically, my job was certifying shipments of hazardous freight. I was responsible for making sure shipments were packed and marked according to the various shipping regulations and then generating the shipping declarations that must accompany the freight. It's a specialized job that requires a two week class every two years to retain certification. I was laid off at the end of May due to contracting cuts. I've worked at the warehouse for 8 years and I got lulled by the easy money.

Now it's time for me to find something new. I'd be cool doing what I was doing again but I'm not having any luck finding a job anywhere with that description. Searching for Hazmat jobs seems to always turn up trucking jobs with Hazmat endorsement.

Anyway, I'm really drawn to the idea of moving into the financial sector. Getting into mortgages and becoming a loan officer sounds interesting to me. I know a guy who does it for Bank of America and he said you can make 50k your first year and more as you get into it. I gave him my resume but his manager wanted someone with experience and a client base already.

I found a job listing for a mortgage company that's looking for college grads to do a 3-month training course. It sounds like a path to becoming a loan officer. My thinking is that even if it turns out to be a lousy, low-paying job I can at least grind through a year to get experience and then try to move to a better company. I confess to being a bit apprehensive about switching careers. It's purely psychological though, I know that I can do pretty much anything I set out to learn. I'm also worried about the pay. I really want to get back into a job that makes what I was making before and it seems so many jobs I've seen are paying less than what I'm collecting on unemployment.

So, my question: is this a good field? Anyone have experience as a Loan Officer that can give me some pointers?

BC_Goldman

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Re: Making a career change
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 07:04:07 PM »
Along the same vein, I've been working on doing up a nice-looking resume. I was reading that the average HR person only spends 7-15 seconds looking at each resume. I've gotten it down to fitting on one page and would definitely appreciate it if anyone is willing to look and offer suggestions for improvement. Somehow, in my 14 years of work, I've never had a job where I needed a resume to get hired. All of them came through other sources. Well, actually I think I gave a resume for my last job but I was already known since I worked for a different contractor in the building at the time.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Making a career change
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 07:15:24 PM »
I can't speak to the loan officer issue but I'm an attorney, often working on environmental compliance issues and I think your existing skill set is very valuable to the right employer.  What you were doing is really essential because the liability exposure for companies dealing with hazardous materials is very high.  Here's a link to read http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/compliance-officer.  That's an awesome job with above average pay, upward mobility, and a below average unemployment rate all in a job sector with strong growth.  Corporations, municipalities, the military, universities, shipping companies -- EVERYONE needs an environmental compliance officer.

I'm very surprised that you've had little success finding employment in that area and I suggest you do some additional research to identify what you may have overlooked.  Have you tried identifying relevant associations, like this http://www.naep.org/.   If you have a college degree, call the career services department at your college and get their help.

Network your buns off.  You're considering leaving a great job that has high barriers to entry (thus, fewer people competing for positions) for a job that has low barriers to entry and is very prone to boom and bust economic cycles.   That alone should make you pause.

BC_Goldman

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Re: Making a career change
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 07:27:27 PM »
Speaking of high barriers to entry, the new fed lead for the area went to take the class and failed out on the first test with a 15 (not exactly a smart cookie). Needed a combination of 70 on the first two exams (split as A/B) and 70 each of the remaining three exams. It blew my mind that one could fail a class so spectacularly! I paid attention and did the practice exams and only missed 3-4 questions between all the exams.