If you’ve decided to take a leap from the revolving hamster wheel of your current career into the great unknown, you’re probably feeling a bit daunted by the prospect. Starting again can be overwhelming but make a solid plan with our tips below and you’ll have the confidence to take that giant leap and land on your feet!
Start with Why
The path of your career needn’t be straight, but if you’ve found yourself at a fork in the road it’s worth taking some time to ask yourself why you want to make a change. Assess what you like and dislike about your current career. Are you doing what you love? Have your goals and values changed? Are you unhappy with your career, or just your work environment? Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge to reignite your professional satisfaction and want to broaden your experience and seek new opportunities. Figuring out what makes you happy and where your passions lie are key steps in making a career change and will help you find a better fit for the future.
Spend some time researching careers that centre around your passions and speak to people working in the industry that interests you. What do they like/dislike about the industry? What’s the culture like? Is it accepting of career changes? Research the job prospects and find out what roles are available and the paths for future career progression. Can you take stepping stones from your current job, rather than one big leap?
If the thought of awkward, forced conversations in a roomful of strangers is what comes to mind when you hear the term “networking”, then think again. There are plenty of ways to build your network which are hugely beneficial when looking to change careers. As well as your existing LinkedIn contacts, LinkedIn groups are a great place to connect with people working in different industries and build professional relationships. Other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also useful for finding professional events, workshops, volunteering and work experience opportunities. Finding a mentor who has made a successful career switch can be a significant help, by offering advice, answering questions and helping you navigate the change.
Training and Education
Having the right training behind you can help bridge any gaps in your education before you make the leap into your new career. Seek out opportunities for work experience to “try before you buy” and get an insight into your new chosen field. What skills do you need to develop to get ahead? What are your transferrable skills from your current career? You may already have a solid amount of relevant experience that you can carry over but taking the time to get qualified and update your skills will see you put your best foot forward at an interview.
When making a career change remember to be realistic and take your time. Embarking on this journey is an exciting time, so set yourself up for success and don’t rush it. Your dream job is out there, so make sure you take the time to prepare for it. Good luck!
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