Changing careers has become increasingly popular lately due to a number of reasons. Some were unsatisfied with their original career, but kept with it because of the money, prestige, and/or extra perks that it serves.
Others took a job in a field for sustainment, or lack of other options throughout the recession. Whatever the reason, more individuals are shying away from traditional career fields and following their respective dreams and passions.
Surprisingly, the undying need to change careers is a natural life progression; most studies show that the average job-seeker will change careers (not jobs) several times over the course of his or her lifetime.
So now that you know that you want to possibly change careers, what should you do now? Quit your job? Move to another city? Not yet. Changing careers, like every other aspect in life, should be carefully planned out.
Below is a list of tips that will assist you in your possible career transition:
Tip #1: Assessment of Likes and Dislikes
It’s often easy to make a list of reasons why you may dislike your current job and that is a great place to start. However, do not focus all of your energy on just that. This is where self-discovery comes in. What do you truly enjoy? What skills and abilities do you hope to utilize while on the job? What excites you, to the point where you wouldn’t mind doing it for free? If you are unsure, I recommend spending some time evaluating your life. Assess where you are, and where you hope to be. To take it a step further, create mini-goals. These will help you to focus on what the main goal is, and help you reach it a bit easier.
Tip #2: Research new careers
Once you’ve discovered (or rediscovered) your passion, spend some time researching the types of careers that center on your passion. If you are looking to make a drastic change, such as teacher to lawyer, you may need to put some extra time into researching. For example, if you want to be a lawyer, be sure to research accredited organizations that offer a program in the law you wish to practice. Lastly, be sure to research salary information as that may be a huge deciding factor.
Tip #3: Note Transferrable Skills
While researching potential career paths, be sure to note what type of skills are required to successfully execute the job. There are many given skills that are transferable, such as written and verbal communication, leadership, and organizational skills. Other skills can easily be learned through on-the-job training and/or various workshops that professional organizations may offer.
Tip #4: Seek Training and Education Opportunities
It may be necessary to obtain a few more skills and knowledge of your new chosen field in the classroom. While researching, look for schools that offer classes in your field. Also, if they align with what you are doing on your current job, your company may be willing to pick up the tab on some classes. Select two introductory courses that you are interested in and prepare an argument for your employer.
Tip #5: Network
It’s no secret that many jobs and career opportunities are found through networking. Be sure to utilize local professional organizations, social networking sites, family and friends. They often hold connections that may be untouched.
Tip #6: Find a Mentor
Changing careers can indeed be stressful. It is imperative that you find a mentor who can share the good, bad and the ugly of the field with you. Mentors may also know of various opportunities that may benefit you.
Tip #7: Don’t snooze on what you don’t want to lose
Ideally, changing careers often requires switching employers. However, if you are employed by a large organization or company, you may find a few opportunities throughout other departments that spark your interest. Reach out to those individuals and again, put yourself out there by volunteering for an upcoming event and/or project that may be underway.
Tip #8: Be flexible
You may not find the ideal job with the ideal salary at the beginning. Being patient and flexible will be the key to success.
Tip #9: Never get too comfortable
Always keep looking ahead for the next grand opportunity. This can easily be achieved by paying attention to fiscal quarters. Most companies hire at the beginning of new fiscal quarters.
Life is definitely a journey filled with risk and ambiguity, but hopefully the above tips benefit your possible career change in a positive way.