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How did you make a career change and what recommendations do you have for someone looking to make a career change?

Veteran

Melissa Morgida Danville, NH

I am looking to switch from a career of health care/health education to financial services. While I love the healthcare field, I have not seen many positions available for health education without being a nurse. I am not sure I see becoming a nurse as a possibility given having to retake most of my classes due to time since I graduated, as well as the current health care situation.

I have always had a part of me that wishes I went into some kind of finance or accounting. I feel as though this might be the perfect opportunity to make that switch. Please let me know how you went about making a big career change as well as any advice you may have.

1 June 2020 22 replies Career Exploration

Answers

Advisor

FRANCIS TEPEDINO, ESQ. San Diego, CA

You did not mention your education? That is important. My suggestion: You seem to have some experience in Health Care. Stay in Health Care, and, if you are serious, go to college in the evening program: get a degree in Accounting. Combine both with a position in Finance in the Health care industry.

15 July 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi Melissa,
I've been in healthcare for a couple of years... or maybe decades....
Anyway, maybe you could consider combining your experience with healthcare and learning about finance.
There are a lot of jobs that require finance in the healthcare field. Your knowledge of healthcare would be great while you work on the financial side of healthcare- AR, AP, RCM, billing/ reimbursement, etc.
This is something to consider.
I hope this helps. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Warm regards,
Jerry

10 June 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jordie Kern Amherst, MA

informational interviews with professionals doing the exact job you want.

Advisor

Melinda Long West Des Moines, IA

Thank you for your service! Military Veterans have the experience and in-demand skills civilian employers are looking for, here are tips for getting interview ready.

Please locate the link called "translate your military record" to access helpful pointers. As you scroll this Wells Fargo page there are other great resources for any veteran seeking to get into the financial industry. http://on.wf.com/6041GlmDh

Wells Fargo has career opportunities for military veterans, veterans with disabilities, and active military personnel.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/careers/veterans/

Wishing you the best,
Mindy

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!

Advisor

David Eastman Gresham, OR

Dear Lt. Morgida,

First of all and, most importantly, thank you for your service. It seems only a few years ago that I contacted the National Association of Nurses and tried to persuade them to initiate a special mainstream program to provide a nursing degree automatically to people leaving healthcare/nursing/the medical corp in the military. I believed, and still do, that your military
health experience and the diversity of soldier patients you cared for qualified you to be a civilian nurse. You would still need to pass a state nursing exam to qualify but that is something you could study for.

As for your career for the rest of your life beyond the military, I agree with the ACP advisors who encouraged you to stay in healthcare; a much more desired, valuable and needed career path than finance or accounting. My so started out in accounting, got bored and now works at Amazon Corporate managing flight logistics for air shipments and loves it.

To combine your healthcare education experience--and your comments about nurse training is accurate--I would encourage you to seek a nursing or healthcare tech position with a medical company where you can become a trainer of new medical devices, drugs, medical software or hardware systems, training customers who are themselves nurses, biomedical techs, physicians and healthcare administrators. And the pay level is excellent.

So, good luck and much success in your career.

Regards,,
David F Eastman, MS, CEO Medical Company, US Navy veteran

Advisor

Michael T. Steward Hampton, VA

Transitioning from one career path to another career path can be scary, and may even cause some anxiety just thinking about what that may look like in practice. I found that when I explored other career paths I was interested in that most of my anxieties, not all, began to diminish. I've had a few career potentials that I honestly enjoyed over the years, and the career I'm currently active in brings me even greater joy. As I rapidly approach retirement, the goal that is the ultimate exit strategy for others, I'm silently launching yet another career in the financial industry. The financial industry can be very lucrative and enjoying, especially if you're the type person who finds satisfaction in knowing that you have helped someone improve their quality of life, as I'm convinced you are. The primary question I asked myself was, "Am I wiling to attend traditional schooling to acquire the required credentials to enter into the financial advising arena?" In my search I was introduced to a company that allowed me to "earn as I learn" at the pace the was comfortable for me. Plus, my out-of-pocket start-up costs was astoundingly low. Let me not forget to mention that the required formal training that would lead to State licensure is also completely covered by the company. I think what appealed to me more than anything was the fact I would be able to maintain autonomy as a contracting Financial Advisor with unlimited earning potentials. I would say take your time in exploring the possibilities, and remain open to opportunities that may get you closer to what you are desiring. I had imagined my transitioning from a career in law enforcement to providing financial services would be a huge challenge to take on. But, I'm actually loving the journey, and the more I avail myself to learning all there is to learn about the industry, my fears are minimized. Whatever you decide to do, commit to enjoying the journey.

Advisor

Byron Andrews Houston, TX

Its pretty much all been said above, but I would summarize and amplify two key things:
1-Healthcare is a much better bet than financial services. HC cant be replaced by an app or off-shored: people will always need to see a doctor and/or have access to in-person medical clinics. FS...not so much! I do all my banking and investment management online with no human intervention, and doubt I am in the minority.
2-It may be a bitter pill, but you may need to find a way to get whatever certification you can get that offers the biggest payoff in the shortest amount of time. Investing in education is rarely a mistake when your prospects are otherwise bleak. Alternatively/simultaneously...cast a wider geographic net (i.e....be willing to move for a good job).

Advisor

Andrew Willie Halls, TN

Hello.due to recent events, you need to consider the possibility of remote work

Advisor

Jo Prabhu Long Beach, CA

As a sole provider for my kids I had to try many fields and lines of work to make enough to cover their needs and after all that effort, there was nothing left for my own future. Life throws a lot of curveballs including health issues one can never anticipate. Selling anything including selling your own skills to create a new future is the hardest thing especially today when companies have shut down and the world is in all kinds of limbo. For anyone changing careers 360 degrees -you would need enough in the bank to cover a couple of years or a second income from a spouse if you are lucky. Getting a degree or education needs earning more money to pay for it. What counts most in all aspects of life or careers is Experience -so if you have a job, keep it to pay the bills and save what you can while learning a new skill. Once the new skill is at the point where you can fly on your own, then perhaps transition the job to part-time until you have adequate resources.

Advisor

A. Andra Grava Allen, TX

Lots of great answers already given, here's my 2 cents of wisdom.

I am a General Agent who wholesales insurance products through over 1000 insurance agents nationwide. 35 years ago I was a Capt in the Army, married with 2 under the age of 3, separating and entering the insurance business. What I didn't know would fill volumes and there was no internet, mentors or forums to check.

Financial services is very complex, regulated field. Securities, Banking, Insurance. Careers can be in large corporations to self employed, entrepreneurial firms. You can be an advisor to consumers, businesses, institutions or never talk with a customer at all. FinTech is exploding and disruption will take place because the rules, regulation, population are all changing. It is also a great time to be in this business.

You need to first know what it is you want to do and how. Salary vs. commission. Employee or self employed. Advisor or support role. Schedule time with several people in this business and have a long talk with them - not a recruiting talk. The current President's of ACLI and NAIFA are both women, there are no limits to success. Don't limit yourself to a mentor who is a women though-find someone who will be transparent about the pros and cons of the industry -every industry has them. Think why you want to do this? What is the best path to pursue for you?

Feel free to call or email and best wishes for success.
Andra Grava

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Melissa, I am going to answer your question by narrowing down your question regarding financial services to financial services sales that is the most lucrative opportunity. The primary reason is most financial services companies are suffering from an aging population where they do no have enough reps to meet future production requirements and they are always hiring.

If you are interested in selling investment products or life insurance products there are significant opportunities. Let me bring up the negatives first. If you don't like selling and long hours during your first three years forget it. Keep in mind that only one out of ten people hired are still employed by that company four years later. Many companies will give you minimal training and expect sales in a relatively short time frame.

Many companies have realized these problems and have overcome them. Here's what to look for. A company that will put you on as a junior member of a sales team. This will enable you to get the broadest experience and guidance and assistance from teammates who realize that The larger the team they build the more likely they are to be successful. Normally these companies are able to retain 40% of more of their people after four years versus the 10% I mentioned earlier. Over time the income levels of these people can be quite substantial ($300,000+) on up. And over the long run I have Coached more than 1,000 people whose income levels are above $750,000.

If that sounds great then be prepared for a career of rejection, as 80% of the prospects you call on won't listen even if you are the best person in the world. On the other hand women now control over 54% of the wealth and the number of women who are opening small businesses continues to grow and will get even better once this pandemic is over. Many women prefer to deal with women they can relate to.
If you want to discuss this in more detail just let me know . My email is ramco1@verizon.net
Warmly, Bob Molluro

Advisor

Bathsheba Gibborim Las Vegas, NV

Hello Melissa,

I have attached a link to a great article that I think you will appreciate "How to Change Careers Without Losing Your Mind or Yourself." This article offers some practical thoughts and ideas about changing careers. The main thing is that you set S.M.A.R.T. Goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, and timely. For example, list key elements you are looking for in your new career that are a must have. Make sure you clarify roles and expectations of your of your new career to ensure you do not have to keep changing careers.

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2020/05/31/how-to-change-careers-without-losing-your-mind-or-yourself/#495fae461c7f

Sincerely,

Bathsheba Gibborim

Advisor

Richard Filippi Rye, NY

Since you live in Danville, NH, you are close to a number of universities. I would first check to see if they offer a Healthcare Management/Finnce program. Also join LinkedIn and search former colleagues and friends and connect with them, as they may have connections in the healthcare management industry. Also since you are in the healthcare industry reach out to
people already in that role and ask for their advice within your organization or past companies.
Regards,

Advisor

Isilay Cabuk Sunnyside, NY

Melissa,
Too many good answers here already and here is my input as person who switched from nursing to Finance
What value will be creating for yourself with that switch?
Once you answer that it is easy to move forward, during the switch you might encounter difficulties and knowing the reason you are doing this will help you to stick to it.
Do please reach out if you want to hear more about
Sincerely
Işılay

Veteran

Mack Brunson Chesapeake, VA

Melissa,

It is hard for others to recommend a path, outside of some general guidance and a few book titles that speak to general guidance. What I've found helps most folks is to go through an introspective process to really understand what you WANT to do out of the many different things you CAN do. That way, you're going in a direction that is in line with your passions combined with your experience.

I would recommend you look into attending a free webinar sponsored by USO that I'm giving on 18JUN at 1pm: https://bit.ly/usopathhrcv-mbjune.

I walk through the tool that I used in my transition to do just that.

Veteran

Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA

Melissa,

I have a good friend in the healthcare education field that I'd like to put in touch with you.

She's incredibly smart and is a military spouse herself.

I'd be happy to make the intro and, if after you talk with her you still would like some 1-on-1 discussions about switching careers, I'd be happy to listen and provide any guidance and support I can.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Steve

Advisor

Jason Myer Broomfield, CO

Step 1: Answer, is this career change to grow or contribute?
Step 2: Can your financial situation handle it, or can you find the means to make it work?
Step 3: Ask at least two good friends.
Step 4: Make your choice and go all in, not looking back but always open to the next opportunity!

I think it's less industry, business need, desire for certainty and significance, and more long term growth and contribution in whatever you do; then go all in until next diversion.

Advisor

John Volpe Seaford, NY

Melissa:

If you love the healthcare field why not pursue courses in financial management part time while continuing to work in the healthcare industry. It appears you already have an undergraduate degree, so a certificate program in financial management may serve your purpose . I’d suggest networking with financial managers within the industry to get a sense of potential opportunities and suggestions on how best to make a transition.

I’d also suggest taking additional courses in project management and information systems management. Lastly, I’d recommend looking for opportunities to work or volunteer on a project that impacts various departments within or outside of healthcare. Doing so will broaden your knowledge and provide you with a better understanding of how various specialties within a business interact and ultimately contribute to business success .

Best of luck

John

Advisor

Thomas Pear Cape Coral, FL

Melissa,
I teach at a university, and my advice to you is to obtain a university certificate in your new field. Many universities have 12-hour certificate programs where you take three or four classes in your preferred field and they issue you a certificate to complement your existing degree.

There are also graduate certificate programs where you would complete 12 to 15 graduate hours in your field of finance and can later decide to pursue a full MBA. A certificate program will get you started in your new field quickly.

One word of caution: Make sure you get your certificate at a regionally accredited university instead of a nationally accredited university. Regional accreditation is needed to transfer credit and have your degree count towards a higher degree.

I have provided a couple of links to two schools in the New Hampshire area (your posting says you are from New Hampshire). I simply googled graduate certificate + New England.

Boston University has a graduate certificate in financial management:

https://bumetprograms.bu.edu/financial-management/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=MGMT%20_%20Financial%20Mgmt%20_%20National&utm_content=Graduate%20Certificate&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlN32BRCCARIsADZ-J4tnD1raFupJGi6PZ-J-nRf0gyVE3teDnO9BVeGA4c7SuolNwLLJvDQaAjwAEALw_wcB

The University of New Hampshire does have a graduate business certificate:

https://catalog.unh.edu/graduate/programs-study/business-administration/business-analytics-certificate/

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Believe it or not healthcare spends a lot of time and money trying to maximize its money! Actually an MBA in healthcare is more valuable then and more healthcare career oriented degree, i.e. MHA. If you have medical knowledge, understand the language and context-financing is a huge career opportunity. The management of healthcare has many great careers. You might want to do some Informational Interviews, speak with people working on the finance side of the business. Hear from them why they love what they do. Outside of that there are financial consultant/guidance for individual investments/retirements. There are a couple of certification programs that are required to enter that field and some career research would indicate which certificate may be more sought after than another. Again, potentially Information Interviews, ask the people who work in the field. Research Information Interviews if this is something new. Thanks for your service and God Bless.

Advisor

Drew Schildwächter Wilmington, NC

Great book to check out: https://dorieclark.com/reinventingyou/

There is a lot of healthcare consulting need right now if you want to leverage your current skills in a consulting context! But, if you want to move, that book was very helpful to me in a practical and strategic way when I went from infantry officer to consultant.

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