Changing careers can be a scary milestone. But when you’re disinterested, uninspired, or even unhappy at work, you need to make a change. Fortunately, it can be a rewarding process, and a career you love is well worth it!
Here are three things she did to move toward a new career that you can replicate.
1) She took inventory
Start by tracking what you do best. Make a list of what you enjoy doing and what you do well, two lists that usually overlap. Include your interests talents that don’t earn any money. Ask other people what you do well. Sometimes your friends and family have the best insight. List your training, any certifications you have, and your experience. Make sure your lists incorporate any volunteering you’ve done and any unusual classes you’ve taken.
But you need to act. She didn’t wait around, overanalyzing her lists! Instead, she took action! This doesn’t mean you need to walk away from your current job, though. You’re actually more likely to get hired if you’re still employed.
2) She researched and narrowed the list
She searched the internet to find jobs that matched her skills, talents, and experience. Try searching under job skills, career skills, and skills assessments. Visit your library and learn more about various career fields and training programs. Check with local government employment offices to learn about job possibilities in your chosen field.
Start to network and interview people in careers you might be interested in. Ask what they like about it and how you can be successful in it. What are the most important skills and qualifications? What are the challenges? If there’s a union or professional organization, ask them for information as well. Do some soul-searching to determine if these are things you’d enjoy and obstacles you can handle.
In addition to the interviews, she shadowed with people in various industries to find out what her sought-after jobs were really like. When she didn’t like something, she crossed that job off her list of possibilities. Each dead end helped her find a role that she didn’t even know existed. Your list will also keep evolving as you collect more information. Eventually, she narrowed her list to three or four possible careers.
3) She made a plan
Once she had narrowed her list, she started networking, making connections and seeking out recruiters, to learn as much as she could about her new industry. Look for people and opportunities, not jobs! Introduce yourself, ask questions, and find out whether they’re hiring. Ask whether you need more training. Remember to keep your current job as long as you can. If keeping your current job isn’t a possibility, consider taking a lower level job in your desired field so you can work your way up. Join a union or professional organization. Polish your resume and start searching.
Are you looking to start a new career path?
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