Everyone changes careers at least once in their lifetime. Some reasons include lack of opportunity for advancement, company downsizing, or a change in interests. Are you facing a career change? Do you want to change careers? If so, there are some basic steps to help you take the plunge. You should review your likes and dislikes to help narrow down your fields of interest, research careers, compare skills you currently have with what your new career requires, assess your training and education, network, and get additional experience if necessary.
When thinking of making a career change, try to identify the things that you like about your current job. If you look at your life and understand what excites you, or what you are passionate about, it can help guide you towards what possible opportunities to pursue. Once you have decided on your interests, it’s time to research what roles utilize your interests. There are several online surveys that will help you investigate potential careers.
You may currently have skills that can be utilized in your new career. Some transferable skills include leadership, planning, and communication. These apply to many careers and have likely been developed in your current profession. It is always encouraging to know that you already have a solid amount of experience that can be applied to a new opportunity!
When researching new paths, you will find that you may need to further your education and update your skills. If that is the case, your current employer may pay for your continuing education. If not, you may decide taking a class here and there will help space out the expense. Night classes or online classes are excellent ways to further your education without interrupting your current schedule.
Don’t forget to use your network! If you are looking to find new opportunities, network with your friends, coworkers, and family members. Once you let people know you are interested in changing your career, they are more likely to keep an eye out for potential jobs. Another excellent resource is your university’s alumni who are working in the field you are interested in. You can also attend career fairs and interview prospective employers. It will allow you to talk to the Human Resources manager and gather more information about what they are looking for.
You may find that you need some additional experience. Get a part-time job or volunteer in the new career field. In addition to learning more, it will allow you to get a feel for the career to make sure it’s a good match for what you want. Another way to gain experience is to do an internship, either paid or unpaid. Interning is a way to gain experience, see what the career is like, and get known in the professional community.
Once you have done the research and improved your skills with training and employment or volunteer work, you are ready to make the change. Good luck on your next great venture.