The average person changes their career between five and seven times over the course of their working life. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether you can stick out your current job for much longer, rest assured that you’re not alone. Of course, having thoughts of quitting your job is one thing, and actually doing it is quite another. Here’s how you can pick yourself a new career, as well as some tips on how to succeed once you’ve done so.
Before you embark on your career change, it’s important to be certain that this is what you want. Sometimes, you can have spur-of-the-moment feelings of frustration with your current job, but they don’t reflect what you actually think or want. Spend some time giving it some serious thought. Consult your astrology, talk to your friends, and make sure this is definitely something you want to do before you move on. After all, there may be no going back.
Do your research
Leaving your current job without a clear idea of where you’re going is a massive mistake; after all, you won’t be able to support yourself while you look for another job. It’s important to know what you’re getting into, so make sure you do your research on whatever new career you’ve chosen. What are the drawbacks? Do you think you’d be more or less frustrated with the downsides of your new career than you currently are? These are important details.
Plan well in advance
Don’t start planning your career move a month before it actually happens. Well in advance, make sure you’re thinking about every step. What notice will you need to file for your current job? What are the next steps after you’ve done that? Are there any contacts you need to check in with, people you need to inform, or things that could help you make the transition smoothly? Try to plan for every eventuality; of course, you can’t predict the unexpected, but you can try.
Talk to people in your chosen career
It can’t hurt to seek out people who work in the career you want to enter and talk to them about their experiences. People on the other side will always have a clearer idea of what life is actually like in that career than you will, and it’s possible you’ve simply been blinded by optimism and can’t see the reality of the situation. It happens to the best of us! It’s not just those in your chosen job, either; friends, family, and co-workers can all offer unique perspectives on your journey.
Don’t worry too much about experience
If you’re the right person for the job, then the interviewer will see that when you go in for an interview. You don’t necessarily need an extensive history in a career in order to get a job, especially if you’re heading in at the ground floor. Some say that employers are asking too much of prospective employees in terms of experience these days. If it’s the right job for you, then both you and your employer will realise that. If not, well, there are plenty more fish in the sea!
If your new field is something in which you could conceivably volunteer, then it’s a good idea to try doing this before you attempt to enter paid work. Although experience might not be that important, it’s still beneficial to have some, and volunteering always looks great to prospective employers. It doesn’t have to be conventional volunteer work; writing a free blog or hosting a free podcast can also both be great ways to get into a chosen industry without actually having any paid work there.
Look into further education
Are there any night classes or “extracurricular” ways you could obtain more education to help you in your new career? If you’re on an upward trajectory, the answer to this question is very likely to be yes. Adult education is thrilling; it’s amazing to still be learning new things after you’ve “graduated” from childhood, after all. Gaining valuable experience is one thing, but actually knowing your stuff is quite another, and employers will be impressed if you’re sporting qualifications to match your enthusiasm.
Don’t be afraid
If you’re scared of changing your career, that will show when you’re making your enquiries. Asking around employers and trying to sell yourself both require confidence, and you won’t have any confidence if you don’t feel confident within yourself. Don’t be scared; making a career leap is big, yes, but it’s a commendable step, and many will respect you simply for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. Being scared of new beginnings will only hinder your progress in the long run.
Allow yourself to fail
If you do manage to get yourself a job in your new chosen sector and it doesn’t work out, that’s alright – it doesn’t mean the career isn’t for you, only that that particular opportunity didn’t pan out. Don’t give up. As with everything else, failure can be a learning opportunity if you allow it to be. What can you learn from this failure that you can take with you and apply to your next opportunity? Transforming failure into success is the mark of a truly well-executed career path change.