You’ve likely experienced plenty of changes throughout your life, and some of these changes can affect how you work. Who you were when you first entered the workforce can be very different from who you are today. Your values may have changed, and you may have realised that they are no longer aligned with those of your employer. Maybe you’ve developed new interests that you want to pursue, which is why you’re seeking to change your career—and you’re not alone.
Sometimes, people look for new challenges and opportunities to grow professionally because they’ve already mastered a skill and would like to develop new ones. In some cases, life changes prompt the desire for a career shift. For instance, a growing family might encourage someone to search for a career that generates a higher income. Perhaps they want a career that will allow them to work more flexible hours. Whatever the reason may be, career changes can happen at any point in one’s life.
But having more work experience doesn’t guarantee a smooth and successful transition to a new career. You still need to make some preparations to ensure you recreate the same success you previously had. If you feel that you need some assistance, you can do this with the help of business success membership programs. Such programs can guide you in setting new professional goals and concrete plans for achieving them. In the meantime, here are some easy steps you can follow to help you ease into your new career:
Evaluate Your Concerns
Assess your current employment to find out why you’re considering shifting to a new career. It’s best to be clear on what is driving you to look at other fields of interest before making any decision. You can do this by keeping a journal and having a daily log of your experience in certain job situations.
You can ask yourself questions like:
- Which aspects of your current employment do you enjoy?
- What don’t you like about your current job?
- Are you dissatisfied with the responsibilities you have or the people you work with?
By answering these questions, you can pinpoint what issues you want to address when you change your career. After evaluating your concerns, be open to other possible conclusions. For example, your answers may indicate that you just need a different job in the same industry, rather than a complete career change.
Do a Self-assessment
Once you’ve determined whether you truly need a change in your career, you’ll need to evaluate your skills and interests. This can help you narrow down the career path that will best suit you. You can start by exploring and identifying your core strengths by reviewing past experiences, especially ones where you were particularly successful. These experiences can be from past jobs, volunteer work, or even your time in university.
You can also determine your preferred activities or passions while you’re at it. Knowing yourself helps you make a more informed choice in your job search. By being clear on what you truly want out of your next career, you won’t waste any time applying for jobs that won’t address your needs or desires.
Focus on What You Need Now
The next step is to craft a concrete action plan. Doing so will help you figure out what you need to do to land the job you want. Begin with some thorough research and find out as much information as you can about your desired career. Do you need certain skills, certifications, or licenses to become eligible for your ideal job? If so, you might need to take certain classes or programs to meet these requirements.
You can also interview people who work in the industry you’re eyeing. These people can give you an idea of what to expect in your career should you decide to make the shift. If you don’t know anyone involved in your preferred industry, your loved ones may have existing connections. You can ask them for recommendations on individuals who are knowledgeable about the career you want.
Try It Out
The best way to familiarise yourself with the new career is to try it out without necessarily jumping all in. This will help you to ease into the transition and prepare you for any potential challenges you may encounter in the future.
A great way to do this is through job shadowing. You can look for experts in your preferred career and ask them if you can observe them or spend a few days job shadowing. You can also search for individuals willing to host job shadowers from companies you want to join. Reach out to the human resources department of said companies and inquire about job shadowing in your chosen field.
Another way to gain some first-hand experience is through volunteering. For example, if you plan to pursue a career that involves interacting with animals, try volunteering at a local shelter. Doing freelance work is also a good opportunity to try out new jobs without quitting your current one entirely.
Prepare for Your New Career
Once you have explored your options and have chosen what path to take, it’s time to take that leap and pursue your new career. To successfully do that, you need to make the necessary preparations, including the following:
- Take any necessary classes. Enrol in any certification programs or licenses required to practice your new profession.
- Refresh your resume. Update your resume before sending it out to different companies. Make sure to include your new career objectives to show what inspired you to make the shift.
- Practise for interviews. The interview experience can be nerve-wracking, and the anxiety can be so distracting that you may have trouble thinking clearly. Practising beforehand is a good way to help you keep calm during the actual interview, as you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to respond. You can practise answering possible interview questions by yourself or ask a friend for feedback on your performance.
- Network with industry professionals. Take the time to join networking events for the industry you’re entering. That way, you can gather more information about your chosen career from people who have had years of experience. You can also look online for new connections relevant to your field of interest in case you cannot attend in-person events.
- Look for openings. Search for job openings on company websites or explore other online resources such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.
Changes happen all the time, and change can also happen with regard to your career path. Indeed, shifting to a new career may be scary, but it can definitely be rewarding, too. During the transition, you’ll likely encounter several setbacks, but don’t let these discourage you from pursuing your interests. There are a lot of opportunities out there for you, and they’re just waiting to be discovered.
Need guidance on your career change? Get in touch with us today.