Tips for Making a Career Change

Tips for Making a Career Change

You deserve to be happy in your career. Sadly, some people suffer through a job they hate because they're afraid to make a switch. If you're tired of dreading the work day, it's time to change your career. Follow these tips and make a smooth transition to a new job you love.

1. Make a List of Pros and Cons

No career is without its drawbacks. Before you commit to changing your career, consider the pros and cons of changing jobs. Think about what you do in your current position. What do you enjoy, and what do you dislike?

Then, think about your new career of choice and write down the good and the bad. If you're not sure about the benefits or drawbacks, do some research.

2. List Your Passions

You should truly love your new career. If you're not sure what your dream job is, start by writing down your passions. Then, consider which careers fall in line with your passions. While no job is perfect, the right career for you will allow you to look forward to getting up in the morning.

While deciding on a career change, make sure passion is at the forefront of your mind. Only change your career if you think you can be passionate about what you do.

3. Consider Your Dreams

When you were a child, did you dream about having a certain career? If so, don't let that dream go just yet. Think about whether or not it might be worthwhile to pursue your dream.

Even if your dream career is implausible, consider what aspects of the job make it appealing. You may be able to find a position with certain aspects that are similar to your dream job.

4. Look at Your Budget

While you should do something you love, you need to be realistic. Your ideal career may not come with a high enough salary for you to survive. Unless you're willing to make some serious changes to your lifestyle, you need to reevaluate your career change.

To decide whether or not you can afford to make the switch, take a close look at your budget. Add up all of your expenses and consider what type of salary you need to sustain your lifestyle.

5. Research Your New Career Choices Well

By this point, you probably have one or two top choices for careers. It's time to delve deep and research your options.

At this time, you need more than an internet search. You should talk to someone who is in the industry, and someone who won't leave anything out. Get as much information as possible on the daily responsibilities of someone in the career and the job outlook.

It's also important to find out about the certifications you need for the new career. Before an employer will even consider you for a position, you may need to take a few exams to obtain the right certifications.

6. Only Pick One Career

If you have more than one career you want to pursue, you're not ready for the job search. You need to make a decision, and that could mean doing more research. It's too time consuming to apply for jobs in two different fields, and you hurt your chances of getting an offer. To improve your chances of success, you need to be able to focus on one career.

7. Think About Your Skills

What do you have to offer an employer in your new field? Even if you don't have any experience working in the same industry as your new career, you probably have some skills that overlap. Think about what you can highlight to make yourself appealing to a prospective employer.

In most cases, you need to think in generalities. For instance, you might have leadership skills or experience organizing things. Look at your resume and see how you can use your skills to advance in a new career.  

8. Educate Yourself

Depending on your new career and your current qualifications, you might need to educate yourself a little more. Do you need another degree or a special certification? In some cases, taking a few online courses could be enough to further your education.

If you need more higher education, don't make any rash decisions. As you probably know, education is expensive. You should only consider getting another degree if you can afford it and if you're certain about your new career path.

9. Shadow Someone

When a student is in high school or college, they are often asked to shadow an employee before embarking on a career path. Although you may be decades away from college, you still have the option to shadow someone.

There's no substitute for direct experience in a career. You can spend months researching a career, but not know much about it until you shadow an employee who works in a role similar to the one you want.

If you don't like what you see, it's time to head back to the drawing board. Start over with the process, because you deserve a new career that you love.

10. Find a Mentor

If you can't shadow someone in your desired career or you want more direction, look for a mentor. Try to find someone who is willing to take you under your wing and guide you.

When you're with your mentor, ask all of your burning questions. They can help you decide whether or not you're making the right decision. Even better, they may be able to offer advice on how to switch careers. They can help you get your foot in the door.

11. Know How to Search for Jobs

Once you decide to switch to a certain career, you can start the job search. Knowing where to look for jobs and how to successfully apply for jobs will make all the difference.

As you apply, don't lose hope. It might take some time to get started in your career, but it will be worth the wait.

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