13 Steps To A Successful Career Change
Whether you are currently unemployed or stuck in a job you’re not happy with, choosing to change careers is a daunting decision. The good news is, you’re not alone. Despite what many people believe, changing careers, especially when you’re a bit older, isn’t that uncommon. In fact, most people make this choice at least once in their lives. People look into career changes for a variety of reasons, but none of these make the process any easier. The only thing that does is knowledge. With that in mind, here are thirteen steps to take for a successful career change.
- Assess Your Current Position
Before you even begin thinking about changing careers, you should make sure that you’re definitely not happy with the industry you’re already in. You may find that a change of job is a better choice for you, rather than a complete career overhaul. Make a list of the pros and cons of your current position and weigh them against one another. If this shows you that a career change is right for you, then the lists will also help you get a better feel of what you want in a job.
- Know What You Love
When you love what you do, you never need to work a day in your life. This is why you should follow your passions and dreams, and choose a career that you genuinely love. Make sure you look at your hobbies and other things you enjoy to do outside of work. After all, there may be a way to make money from them or incorporate them into a new career. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself unsatisfied with your new job and in the same place in a few months time.
- Consider Your Skill Set
Passion is important in the working world, but so is having the right skills and knowledge to get the work done. With that in mind, you should take a look and your resume and consider the qualifications and certifications you already have. You may be able to find new work without needing any extra training. If you do need additional skills for roles you’re considering, you may need to put your career change on hold for a time while you go back to school.
- Brainstorm Alternative Career Options
Once you’ve considered both your skills and passions, you should use these to brainstorm a few career ideas. Some will be obvious to you, but others you may never have even heard of. To give yourself an accurate view of your options, you can use online career tests and self-assessment tools to generate a list of occupations that may be appropriate for you. If you’d rather get some one-to-one advice, then you could also consult with a career counselor and get their views.
- Take Finances Into Account
By this point, it’s likely that you have quite a long list of jobs to consider. To narrow down your options a little, you should think realistically and take your finances and lifestyle into account. After all, it’s easy to jump in head first and choose a career you find interesting, but, the reality is, your financial situation may not allow it. The salary you earn from some of your career options may also be too little to keep you afloat, especially considering the likely temporary pay cut.
- Learn About The Industries
When you have a list of potential careers in front of you, but no knowledge of the ins and outs of the industries themselves, it makes it incredibly difficult to make a decision, especially an informed one. Because of this, you should take some time learning about the fields so that you can get a feel for what interests you. You can attend conferences, read blogs, listen to podcasts, and speak to those in the profession. This should help you to eliminate an option or two.
- Give Something A Go
Unfortunately, there’s only so much that you can learn about a job hearing about it second-hand. To give you a better idea of what would be in store for you if you were to go into the field, you should pick one of the careers on your list and just give it a go. You can spend anywhere from hours to weeks shadowing professionals to see what is expected from them in their day to day working lives. You can also find freelancing and volunteering opportunities for yourself to do.
- Upgrade The Relevant Skills
Hopefully, by now, you will have cut down your options significantly and chosen a new career. However, before you can start applying for jobs, you need to learn or upgrade skills relevant to the work. Your volunteering efforts will go towards this, but you may also require additional qualifications. With courses ranging from online masters in nursing education to business, online training may be your best option. This allows fit learning around your current employment.
- Work On Your Resume
Your resume is the first opportunity you have to impress recruiters and hiring managers. Because of this, it’s crucial that yours is up to date and includes details on all of the extra learning and work you have done towards your new career. Make sure that you remove any irrelevant skills or knowledge and proofread it a few times to check for typos and grammatical errors. You can have someone you trust to do this for you too, just to be on the safe side.
- Search For Open Positions
The internet is home to a number of useful job forums and employment sites, allowing you to find open positions with ease. The only downside to this is that almost anyone can apply for such positions, which means that, if you did the same, you’d run the chance of being lost among other applicants. To avoid this, you should find the contact details for companies you’re interested in and apply directly to them. This way, you have to chance to impress potential employers in person.
- Attend Local Networking Events
In the working world, who you know is often deemed more important than what you know. With that in mind, you may find it a little easier to secure a job if you have a good relationship with someone in your new industry. If you don’t already have a preexisting connection to help you, then it’s time to start networking at events in your local area. This can feel slightly awkward at first, but the more you put yourself out there, the better your chances at landing a job.
- Nail The Job Interview
Securing an interview can be quite the challenge, especially when you’re new to an industry. For this reason, you should make the most of your victory and nail the interview. Unfortunately, this is going to be tough if you fail to prepare, which is why you should do plenty of research on your position, the interviewer, and the company itself. You should also make a great first impression by arriving on time and dressing appropriately.
- Hand In Your Notice
After getting the call you’ve been waiting so long for, the only thing you have left to do is notify your current employer that you’ll be leaving them. If you’re currently unemployed, then you have nothing more to worry about, but, if you’re not, then there may be some things you need to take care of. Some companies require that you work for a certain period of time or finish your current projects. Make sure you remain polite with this company, as you may need them in the future.
Changing careers can be scary and complicated, but, hopefully, with the advice above, you can do so successfully.