Switching careers can be exciting, but also overwhelming. Whether you’re starting to lose interest in your current pursuit or you’re interested in something that brings home more money and greater benefits, there are many reasons to begin daydreaming about a new career path.
But before you do anything drastic, you need to have a plan. By following these tips, you’ll be better prepared and more likely to successfully navigate your way to a new career.
Tip #1: Identify the root of your decision
Perhaps you’re stuck in a rut and ready for a new challenge. Or you need more flexible hours. Or your company is downsizing. Figure out whether your problem necessitates a career change or if it could be solved with a conversation with your supervisor. Maybe you can simply ask for new responsibilities before you hand in your resignation. Understanding your reason can help you determine what you’re looking for next.
Evaluate your current job satisfaction and identify which aspects of your job you like and dislike. Next list your interests, values, and skills. What does your ideal work situation look like?
Tip #2: Research
Read articles, listen to podcasts, and search job boards to find out what jobs there are related to your passions and interests. Once you find these options, work backwards. Who has your dream job and how did he or she get there? If you can, get personal and actually interview people you admire. See if you can target a company that will allow you to get some experience by setting up a job shadow or an internship.
Tip #3: Rebrand yourself
Finally, you need to make yourself marketable. Identify your skills that transferable to any job: organization, communication, time management, diligence, and passion. Next, broaden your knowledge with an online class or accredited seminar. Revise your resume and be sure to include your upgraded skills along with your transferable skills.
And network! Talk to as many people as possible, casually and formally, about your plans and goals. You never know who might have a contact they can refer you to or a piece of helpful advice. Find a mentor who’s experienced in your target field. Show that you’re passionate and motivated.