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The idea of a lifelong career has changed a lot in recent years. In the past, the majority of people focused on getting in on the ground level and working their way up the same company until they retired. But today’s typical career track often includes several workplace changes—and even career changes. There are plenty of reasons to want to switch careers, including discovering new interests and passions, feeling under-appreciated, desiring higher compensation, etc. Whether you’ve decided to change careers, are planning to leave your job, or have recently been let go from your stable job, such transitions can often feel daunting. Here are some tips to help you navigate these uncertain waters.
Tip #1 Think Holistically
Your career does not operate in isolation to the rest of your life. Realise that your professional decisions can have a huge impact on your work/life balance and standard of living. Be sure to consider how your new career path will affect your relationships, finances, and daily life. For example, are you willing to relocate for the sake of a career opportunity? Are you willing to sacrifice financial benefits for professional satisfaction? Only you can make a call on those areas, so make sure you ask yourself these tough questions.
Tip #2 Have a Plan
Making a realistic career plan will guide you as you enter a new phase of your professional life. Look forward five to ten years. Ask yourself where you want to be by then, and if the next step makes sense. Any career decision should be carefully considered, especially one with the potential to be as life-changing as shifting industries.
Tip #3 Pay Attention to Shifting Trends
Once you analyze where you’re at and what you want from a career change, it’s time to go about finding it. If you’re moving to a completely different field, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the career path options. Make sure that your idea of a specific field or career lines up with reality. With all the advancements in technology and changes in the economy in the past few decades, you want to make sure your dream job actually exists and will continue to do so in the long term. Even better, look at what new opportunities exist due to changing trends. Analyze the industry you want to enter. Are there needs that are not being met? Do new trends align with your experience and skill set? Perhaps you can take your current experience to a new setting. After all, a change in setting is one of the major benefits of a career change. Look at what you’re already good at, as well as your passions, and see if they connect in a way that opens up new opportunities.
Tip #4 Leverage Your Resources
When facing a career change, it’s easy to feel like you’re starting from scratch. But you’re really not. Your life and career experiences add up to a unique set of skills for potential employers. It’s important for you to be aware of that and utilize your resources. These can include positive references from your professional life, transferable skills you’ve acquired at your current job, personal connections in your desired industry, an updated resume, a portfolio of past work, and money and time for pursuing necessary certifications or degrees.
Tip #5: Talk to a Professional
Sometimes a fresh perspective can do wonders. Working with a professional recruitment consultant or a career coach can help you to get a clearer picture of how your skills and experience can be applied to alternative career paths, and expose you to job types you may not have considered.
There you have it – 5 tips to help you successfully navigate a career change. Remember, life may have its ups and downs…but you’re always in the driver’s seat. Know that and trust yourself. Give yourself space for some clarity, discover your core values, invest in your education, and play big with your goals. If not you, who? Best of luck!