Switching jobs is a difficult decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It could majorly change your lifestyle and routine – but may also be the most rewarding thing you do.
There are plenty of reasons why people change careers – you may have reached your limits, you would like to gain experience in another field or perhaps you would like to be your own boss. Whatever the reason is first thing you need to do is think whether you actually need a career change or you just need a new job.
Before you make a career change, here are steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
1. Think about your talents and interests.
First thing to do is to evaluate yourself – your skills, values and personality – BE HONEST. Ask yourself some questions and note the answers down, these will be useful when looking at potential new careers. Some questions will include:
- What am I good at? What are my strengths?
- What skills and qualifications do I have that can help me with this new career path?
- What are my interests, could I connect them with my new career?You may be thinking that you want a complete change, away from everything, but be sensible. Think about other roles or jobs where you can use the knowledge, skills and capabilities that you have built up.
Now think about jobs. What occupations require your talents?
Search the Internet. Try terms in such as job skills, career skills or skills assessment to find the most suitable one for you and your background. For each occupation on your list, you will want to look at the job description, educational and other requirements
Narrow the list to a few possible careers — no more than three or four. Keep changing your list until you feel confident that you’d love a job in those fields and that you would do it well.
3. Choosing the right career
Narrow your choices to one career and focus completely on that one.
You now need to gather more in-depth information. Your best source of this information are people who have first-hand knowledge of the occupations you’re interested in. Identify who they are and conduct informational interviews with them if possible. If you don’t know anyone personally, LinkedIn can be a great resource. You can find people with your desired job title and connect and reach out to them in regards to your interest in their field.
Do you need more training? Check out vocational schools and colleges in your area. Learn about specific training and what job placement services they offer. Ask about classes you can take while still employed. Night and weekend programs are often available.
4. Take action
When you have the skills and training you need, polish your resume and start your job search.
It could take a while for the transition to happen, so don’t get discouraged.
When you’re considering how to switch careers, remember it isn’t over once you’re searching for jobs in the new field. Rather, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to talk about your career change to potential employers. After all, your career change will be apparent to the people you’re interviewing with. Make sure you have spent time reviewing how you can relate success in your previous career to success in your new career. Also, be prepared to discuss how the skills you have will translate to this new career path.
We wish you the very best of luck!