July 31st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Economy forced you to consider career change?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Millions and millions of Americans have lost their jobs since this recession started in December of 2007; and the unemployment rate is expected to top 10-percent before the end of this year.

Job opportunities in the health care industry are on the rise.

The harsh reality is that a lot of these people have remained out of work for a very long time. Many of the businesses that used to employ them - the auto industry, finance, real estate and construction - have also been hit hard by the recession.

At the same time, other fields - like health care, clean energy, computer science and government - are expected to grow a lot in the years to come.

USA Today reports that millions of Americans are making dramatic job changes. A survey by Career-Builder shows 71-percent of workers who were laid off and haven't found jobs yet say they're looking for work outside their fields. This could mean the unemployment rate stays higher for longer - as workers need time to get training and then find jobs in a new field.

And these transitions aren't always easy. Sometimes the unemployed have to spend thousands of dollars getting that training - to learn skills needed for a new career. And then they find they have to take pay cuts.

The government is trying to help... the economic stimulus package included $4 billion over three-years to help retrain and place unemployed people in new jobs.

Here’s my question to you: Has the economy forced you to consider a career change?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dan from Santa Barbara, California writes:
Yes. I used to be a guest services manager at a local hotel. I am almost finished with the hospitality management course. But now I am working as a night clerk in an independent living facility for seniors, in conjunction with the housing authority and looking at more training in social services. I expect more job security and standard benefits in that field, which is lacking in many hotel jobs. It’s been a good thing for me.

Keith from Florida writes:
Yes. I had a 30-year career in consulting corporations and companies in trouble. I was laid off in December '08 and there are still no indications that I will have work any time soon. So, I am searching for management positions at a considerable cut in salary and no benefits, just to survive. I have sent out over 600 resumes since December.

Mare writes:
My training is in three industries: film, graphic design and interior design. All three of the fields I am trained in have been dealt severe blows here in Los Angeles. I am considering not only a change of career, but also a change of states, and if worse comes to worse, change of country.

Jake writes:
I've had the ill-fortune to have graduated with a degree in architecture in August '08. A year later, almost to the day, I'm still without work and surviving only on the good graces of my parents. It's been a humbling year. Certainly, I wish I had chosen nearly ANY other field.

Nelson from Somerdale, New Jersey writes:
With what I owe, the costs for my medications, and little prospect of finding employment, I am seriously considering a career as a medical school cadaver.

Filed under: Recession • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Julie from CA.

    Yes, Jack. Thanks for asking. I've been out of work as a teacher for 3 months.

    Do you need an assistant?

    July 31, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  2. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I would love a career change. Considering that I have been unemployed/under employed for the last 6 years I would give anything to change my current dead-end career.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  3. DJ from Ft Walton Beach, FL

    Nope, Im in the military where many of the jobless are TRYING to go now...I think I'll stay here. This is true job security Jack...for better or worse the Government will never fire you.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I love my line of work. If I was unemployed, I would work in another field to make ends meet until I could return. Pride and stubbornness aren't worth dying over.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  5. maria, california

    Yes, I would like to become an illegal alien. They seem to be getting everything given to them.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  6. S, Michigan

    As long as I have my job, no! If I lost it and couldn't get one in say 6 months, then yes I would consider it. As Albert Einstein said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

    July 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  7. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: I made a career change. I worked for GM and now I'm retired with little of what I worked for all my life.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  8. andyzag Lynn, MA

    Not really a career change. I am more interested in finding a job.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Ed

    Yes. If I get laid off, I'm going to become a con man. I'm not sure why, but Americans seem to be getting more stupid. They invested their entire life savings with a guy named Madof, thought a woman who can see Russia from her house was qualified to be Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful country in the world, believe the government is going to kill off granny to save on medical costs, and are convinced the Republican Governor of Hawaii is lying when he attests to the fact the President Obama was born there. With all these grassy knoll, tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy nuts, this promises to be the Golden Age of Swindling.


    July 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Paul Austin, Texas

    Jack I am retired and I retired early at 55 four years ago. I have now been looking for a job again for 9 months now and nothing is out there or so many people are putting in for so few jobs and it makes it very hard to find anything.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Mike in St. Paul

    Consider it? The economy has demanded it.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Sharon in Virginia

    This economy has force me back into the University setting at age 47. Online class after work are going great.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Paul Martin

    Hurst, Texas
    Rather than stay in management where opportunities are limited
    I've become the person I was 40 years ago.
    I had forgotten the satisfaction one gets from
    simple IT development work.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Not yet, but if I get laid off, I'm thinking it might force me into a new career of Bank Robber, Drug Dealer or Hitman. Wait, I got it! I'll become a Politician! That way I can get all the money and hookers I want -legally!

    July 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Darren

    Yes and I'm leaning towards Wall Street banker ... I hear that's a win/win field there.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  16. Jenna

    Has the economy forced you to consider a career change?

    Jack, I have 5 degrees and 20+ YEARS of Experience and NO ONE IS HIRING.. I've been unemployed for 3 years and since I graduated into a Bush recession I didn't even qualify for unemployment.. 3 YEARS without employment is NOT GOOD.

    However, I am much better off than most and I understand that employment is the last sector to recover in an economic rebound. At least with President Obama I have HOPE again!

    Roseville CA

    July 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Have had the same job in the health industry for more than twenty years. If I were younger, maybe, but companies today do not want to hire seniors, even though we are more responsible and reliable than the younger generation.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Nancy, Grand Ledge, MI

    What career? I am presently unemployed, and will accept any career that will hire me. Here in Michigan, there aren't many.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  19. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I'm retired now,but there was a simular situtation in the 1980s when all the steel and iron foundries were shutting down.I had been in foundries at that time for about 15 years when I learned my job was going away.I chose to go into sales.I found that I was very good at it,and that it was very good for me.It gave me better money,cleaner work enviroment,and an around better attitude.So,I guess there really can be a silver lining in some of those clouds!

    July 31, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  20. Jason, Koloa, HI

    I saw the writing on the wall a year and a half ago and made a career change back then. I moved out of the tourist industry which is tanking here in Hawaii and started working for what is essentially a utility, the cell phone industry. I have been impacted negatively by the economy, but at least I still have a job. Many of my former tourism co-workers are now unemployed.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm |