How to successfully change careers? But first, why do people seek a career change? Well, these people seek change for various reasons such as;
- your career goals or values may have changed
- discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job
- better pay
- current workplace is too stressful
- better work-life challenges
- thriving for new challenges
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision with many factors involved, so here’s how you can successfully change your career in just 8 simple steps.
1. Look through your interests, values, and skills
Sit at a study desk, power up your laptop, click Google Doc and start typing down your past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs in the last few years.
Review and identify which preferred activities and skills do you want to continue utilizing in your new career path – do you still want to continue working on Google Ads, talk to future clients, or is your passion still writing?
Find out what is your core values and skills addressed through your current career.
2. Make an action plan
Think about it, what’s your primary goal?
Once you’ve got your goal set in black and white, break it down into these major milestones;
- skills you need to acquire
- people you need to meet
- things you need to wrap up in your current job
- personal things you need to attend to before making this shift
As you complete these tasks, you’ll also likely notice how small steps tend to have a snowball effect and give you both the momentum and confidence to take the next step in your new future.
3. Upgrade your skillsets
Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job, paving the way for a change.
If grant writing is your next passion and you are offered to write a grant proposal, take the challenge! If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change without having to go back to school.
4. Take up several classes
Education never sleeps no matter which age group you belong to, so investigate your educational opportunities to bridge your new field background.
Figure out would you benefit from taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Would you rather spend some time at one day or weekend seminars? List down professional groups in your target field for suggestions and set an appointment with them.
Read more about how you can reinvent yourself!
5. Try different careers paths
Seek out your friends, family, and networking contacts as you brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options and discussing your core values and skills.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counsellor for professional advice.
6. Try out volunteer activities
Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest. For example, if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing your university’s alumni newsletter.
If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter. Don’t put yourself in a box if certain activities make you feel out of place – you might find the right one.
7. Find the people to talk to about your career change
You absolutely must get to know passionate and successful people working within that new field of interest. No worries, people are more generous with their time and input than you think, especially when you show interest in them and acknowledge or validate something they’re doing professionally.
The best way to approach it is by paying a compliment or noting something that they’re doing that seems interesting or impressive.
After you build a bit of rapport, you can ask for a favour or a bit of their time. And without a doubt, thank everyone who gives you input and advice along the way.
8. Escape your comfort zones
Find out as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews. A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network.
Platforms such as LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
Make no mistake; career changes involve more friction, disruption, and risk than simply staying on a more linear, traditional career path but understand how you can successfully reinvent yourself.
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