How to make a successful career change

by Lynn
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There are multiple reasons why people are interested in changing their careers. So how do you have a successful career change? Before you embark on a career change you have to evaluate your current situation. Assess your options and feelings before confirming you actually need a career change.

Here are some tips on how to make a successful career change:

Evaluate your current job

Before deciding to switch careers first evaluate your current situation. The pros and cons of your current job. For you to make a successful career change, you need to assess what you like and don’t like about your current job. Do you not like your boss, or how your company is run or is it the people you work with. If this is the case you just need to look for a new job with a better work environment.

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Evaluate your passion & interests

Assess your interests and values and ask yourself if they reflect in your job. Assess what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about. What qualities are you looking for in a career? You need to know what activities you love doing and how they can translate into your future career. For you to have a successful career change you need to make a detailed analysis of what you’re passionate about.

Consider your options

If you’re thinking of switching careers, you must have several options in mind. Make a list of all occupations and jobs that are closer to your values, passion, understanding, and skills. Highlight a list of 5 to 10 career options then narrow down from there. If you are experiencing difficulties in narrowing down your options you should consider visiting a professional or trying out the professional career quizzes online. This is a crucial step if you’re to make a successful career change.

Research your options

After you have narrowed down your career options you need to look at the possible jobs you may get, the job description, and the education requirements. You should also look at the entry jobs in those careers, the growth opportunities, and the salary range. This research will assist in making a more informed decision for a successful career change.

Assess your finances

When changing careers you need to be realistic about your financials. You need to consider the fact that you may take a pay cut because you may get an entry job with a reduced salary. If you’re to make a successful career change you need to think about how you will maintain yourself financially after the career change. If you’re not financially stable you might want to weigh your options. Before you change careers make sure you have a fallback plan in case your finances do not go as planned.

Networking and Connections

Networking is very important if you’re to have a successful career change. You need to network first hand with the people in those occupations. Talk to them and obtain as much information as possible. If you work in a big organization you can start networking with people in that job field. If you don’t know anyone personally and you have no access to anyone who is in that career field you should try Linkedin.

Connect with people with your desired job position and reach out to them. There are also networking opportunities you can take advantage of. Look out for any professional bodies and attend any events they may have. You need to start making connections in your new industry so as to increase your chances of growth and exposure.

Assess Job requirements

After assessing your finances and networking with people, you should now start assessing the job requirements. Find out which skills are required, the educational background, salary range, working hours, and the benefits the job offers. This will help in managing your expectations once you make the switch. Assessing the job requirements will help you evaluate the job listings and the job offers on the market.

Evaluate your skills

Once you assess the job requirements, you should evaluate your skillset. Your new career may require communication skills that are not currently required in your job. You should evaluate which skills you have and start working towards attaining new skillsets that are more relevant to your new career field for you to have a successful career change.

Set Goals

Before making the career change you need to set goals. You should have both short-term and long-term goals. Make sure you have actionable goals i.e If you want to do a short course to expand your skill set, you can set a timeline on that just for accountability purposes.

Make a career plan

Once you set your goals you should create a career plan on how you intend to achieve your goals. This will help put things in perspective and will help you know what to prioritize so as to achieve your goals.

Consider a second course

Depending on your career change, you may need technical knowledge that may only be acquired by enrolling for a course or for a second degree or a master’s course. This may also be dependent on your financials as it may be costly. Alternatively, you can take more affordable courses online.

Job Shadowing and Volunteering

After networking, you can start job shadowing professionals in your field. You can dedicate an hour or two every day to job shadowing. Find out what you would not like about the job, career growth opportunities, and everything that it entails. Before making the leap of faith you need to know every aspect of what your new job will entail. You can even volunteer or look for freelance activities that are related to your career.

Get a mentor

While you’re job shadowing, you may want to find a mentor. A mentor will guide you through the career change process and advise you when necessary. You should ask your mentor what hurdles are in that job field just to avoid regretting your decision in the long run. Go through your career plan with your mentor as well just so they can advise on how realistic your goals are.

Work on your CV

You may need to revamp your CV, you may need to show how you intend to transfer your experience and skillset from your old job to your current job. This may be challenging as you would need to make a great first impression with your resume.

Manage your expectations

Changing careers will be exhausting both physically and mentally. You may have to start part-time or freelancing then work your way into a full time job. The journey can be frustrating but you need to keep your eye on the price. You might also get resistance from your family members and friends. You need to prepare yourself mentally for all outcomes.

A career change may be scary and comfortable, but you have to take the leap of faith and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You will need a great support system if you’re to have a successful career change. A career change may just be the best thing that happened to you.

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