Changing Careers: How to Change Careers Successfully – Tips
The thought to changing careers comes around when one begins to lose interest in the present job, or one finds another interesting job offer, or when a company downsizes. These are some of reasons when individuals find themselves on the verge of changing career path to another. When such a situation does show in your life, you need to take stock, take it slowly and ensure that you are on the right career path towards a sucessful career change. This article is an attempt to help you taking the right steps towards changing careers.
Let’s take a look at some of the helpful tips to consider when you finally decide to take the plunge and change career paths.
1. Accept that you have more than one career path
Don’t get bogged down in thinking that you were born with only one career path. The reality is that some people will find their true calling only after exploring another career path. In fact you will probably change your career path several times in your life so theres no reason why you shouldn’t be open to exploring different career options. The key is to be brutally honest about who you are & what your good at or could be good at, with the right culture thats aligned to your personal values , mission and purpose. Once you’ve identified this y=you can proceed with targeted research and start looking at specific job roles.
2. Assess your preferences
It has been observed that a lot of individuals change career either because of the fact that they dislike their boss, their job, or the company culture does not reflect personal values. Hence, it is important to first identify the dislikes as this is a relatively easier job. Once you have identified your dislikes, it is time to focus on your likes, because knowing your likes help you to understand which direction to take in your career change. Ask yourself questions which help you understand your passion or what drives and excites you. In case you are not sure, you should take the career assessments available online these days. Basically, the idea is to invest some time to rediscover yourself and the results derived from these self assessments will help you in directing towards your search for a new career path.
3. Researching a New Career Path
After you have identified or re-discovered your passion, you need to invest some time to research on the types of careers that revolve in and around your passion. You need not worry if you feel a little insecure or unsure during this process of career change, as it very much natural. The depth of your research will depend on the degree of change that you decide to make to your career path. For instance, you may decide to become a corporate trainer from a teacher or if you may decide to be a web designer from a nurse.
4. Identify Transferable Skills & Competencies
You should try to leverage your existing skills and competencies as well as your previous experiences to your new career path. For instance, you can leverage your leadership, planning, and communication skills to your new career as they are both applicable as well as transferable to any domain. This will help you gain confidence that you already have a strong foundation of some of the basic skills for your new career.
5. Training and Education
While making a new career transition, you might need to upgrade your knowledge and skills. So, you need to take it slowly. For instance, the skill that you have picked up to learn may be the one that you would be using in your day to day job. So you may start by enrolling yourself for a couple of courses which will help you decide if you really like the subject matter. In case you plan to gain a new certification or degree, ensure that you check the accreditation of the institution and find out their placement history.
6. Start Networking
You must utilise your networking abilities while making a career change, as this is one of the very useful keys. You may find contacts from your network to help you provide leads, offer you information and advice about a certain industry or domain. They may also introduce you to others in order to expand your network. In case you do not have an existing network, you can consider your immediate and extended family, friends, and even colleagues as your source of network. Expand your network by becoming a part of professional organizations in your new domain or you can even contact alumni from your college if they are in the field which you wish to enter.
7. Gaining Experience
If you plan to start your career from the scratch, you need to take up either a part-time job or volunteer in your new line of career. Gain as much experience as you can in the new domain.
8. Find a Mentor
It is understandable that changing a career path can be an overwhelming decision at times; hence you should find a mentor who can guide you during your days of struggle. You may even get help from your mentor from his or her network. A mentor need not be a highly influential individual; however, if he or she is one, it will be advantageous for you.
9. Changing Careers within your Current Organisation
Another way of making a career change is to make an internal shift within your current organisation. Progressive thinking employers understand the fact that employees can be kept productive and happy if they are allowed to make a lateral shift within the organization to a career path of their choice. However you should speak about your career change to your employers only when you are mentally prepared to do so.
10. Job Hunting Basics
You need to brush your basic job hunting skills and tools by taking tutorials which can help to research companies, update your resume and cover letter appropriately, polish your interviewing and salary negotiation skills.
11. Be Flexible
While making a career change you need to be flexible pertaining to your employment status, salary, and relocation. Be positive when it comes to expecting setbacks and changes. Instead of considering an entirely new career path, consider making a lateral shift. You should also consider alternative career options like starting your own business and looking at other avenues.