Things to Consider When You’re Thinking about Changing Careers
If you’re not happy with your current career, then it might be time for a career change. Making the change takes understanding, planning, and commitment. In fact, searching for a new career can feel like a job itself! This is what you need to know before you get in over your head, or talk yourself out of making the change.
1. Understand When a Career Change is Right
Unless you understand exactly what makes you unhappy, you may not find fulfillment in a new career. You may think you need a new career when you really need a new atmosphere. If you hate working in front of a computer all day, moving from a billing coordinator position to an editor position may not make much sense. Do you need a career that offers more flexibility, creativity, or work diversity?
2. Don’t Go Overboard with Self-Help
If you are completely lost, some career aptitude testing and self-help reading can give you direction. However, you will find hundreds of books and hundreds of online quizzes and tests that promise to offer insight. Remember you are the only authority on you. Use self-help tools to get started, but listen to your inner voice above all. Too much career research may only confuse you more.
3. Ask for Help
Enlist your network, friends, and family for support. Changing careers can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Your support network may help you identify leads, give you pep talks when needed, and brainstorm with you about next steps. If you need or want extra assistance, a career coach can help you find your brand, develop a plan, and learn how to sell yourself when you start applying for jobs.
4. Develop a Plan
Some people can walk out of the door in the morning and find a fulfilling job at the end of the day, but most people need to develop a plan first. Once you identify your target career, ask yourself:
- What is my definition of success? – Financial security, flexibility, and creative license may all play a role in what makes a job fulfilling for you.
- Will I need to pursue further education to become a viable candidate? – Look for tuition reimbursement programs and one-off classes to build your skillset.
- Who do I know in this field who can help me succeed? – Find a mentor who can provide valuable insight and connections.
Creating an actionable plan will help you get the ball rolling and give you clear goals for your career change.
5. Don’t Give Up
If you want to start your own business, go down a completely different career path, or find a new job environment, make the commitment to change today. Many people find themselves stuck in a dead-end or unfulfilling career because they’re afraid of taking a risk. You will never find happiness or success without accepting the chance of failure and the possibility of success.
Changing careers starts with baby steps. Hardly anyone can wake up one morning, decide to run a marathon, and complete the course. You don’t have to do everything tomorrow. You only need to take one small step. Reach out to an old acquaintance who works in your potential career field. Update your resume. Do something every day to help you change your career.