Thinking of a career change
Think about why you want to change.
Have a good think about what the real reason is behind you wanting to change. This can help you understand if new career choices will meet your expectations. In any case its wise to write up a list of bullet points with what you want your new career to look like.
It may seem obvious but as a first step make sure the issue cannot be solved by simply changing jobs rather than careers. It’s important to decipher the difference between being unsatisfied in a particular job versus a career. For example a long commute to work everyday, issues with co-workers and pay rates can all take their toll on your job satisfaction levels. Lets presume though for the purposes of this article that it is indeed a career change that you’re after.
Start at the beginning
It’s a very worthwhile exercise to take a look back on your career and think about what you have enjoyed and what you haven’t. Write it all down and keep it handy, trying to juggle things in your head not only makes it more difficult, its easier to forget. When you write it down on a piece of paper, you can refer to it, add to it and even show it to friends or family if you want to.
Ultimately, you want this list to be a clear and simple reference for helping you decide on your next career. When you’re going through your list, try and put things in either a ‘What you want’ or ‘what you don’t want’ bucket. Being clear early on in your career change journey makes it a lot easier later on to know what you want.
Where you work is a big part of any job, for example, deciding if you are comfortable in a corporate environment or more of an outdoors, hands-on person can be a good way to narrow in on your options and get you thinking in the right direction.
Do you want a clean break or do you want an ‘adjustment’ in your path?
Sometimes its enough to move within an industry rather than re-invent the wheel and move into a totally new area, it often brings advantages in terms of utilising existing skill-sets and enables you to use existing networks to aid job opportunities down the line.
How much time and money are you prepared to invest in education?
If further education is required for your new career, its definitely a good idea to research how much education is needed and how much it’s going to cost. If you are going to study while continuing in an existing job, you might want to consider the flexibility of studying online. Studying online allows you to study in the evenings or on weekends while still catering to the commitments of your existing work. Ask the education provider how many hours are typically required each week to complete the course.
Reach out to people in the field you are considering
Once your’e considering a few career options its really great idea to reach out to people who are already in the field. You’d be surprised how forth-coming people might be to spend a bit of time and let you know about their experience in a particular career.
Consider work experience to gain valuable experience
Time in a potential environment can be an enormous help in understanding what the realities of a particular job or career are like. Reach out and contact employers you would like to work for and work like you’re getting paid. The work experience may very well open up opportunities in itself.
Contact job recruiters
Recruitment agencies can be a valuable source of what education and experience employers are looking for as well as offer a valuable insight into what the current job market is like.
Changing careers is a common undertaking these days, but do your research and be smart about getting into a new field, its well worth it down the line and will make sure you find yourself in a rewarding career. Enjoy the journey, do what you love and good luck.