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Quitting Your Job? Finding a New Career Path Can Be a Challenge

There aren’t a lot of resources to point you in the right direction, says the former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Illustration: Yann Bastard for Bloomberg Businessweek

Sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster can help you find a job. But what if you’re trying to chart a new career path? Or just figure out what fields are growing near you? Those questions are harder to answer, says Dr. Erica Groshen, who served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2013-17 and is now a senior economics adviser at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

She says entering the job market today is much more of a guessing game than it should be, due to a lack of local repositories for job-related data. There’s no easy way to say: I could pursue this or that line of work, and in five years I could be making this amount of money with that title. So how do you cobble together your own dashboard? There’s no easy solution, but here are edited excerpts from a conversation with Groshen about how to get started: