Changing Careers: A Step-by-Step Guide
Changing careers can be a daunting experience. However, with enough determination and preparation, it’s definitely possible. Below, we’ll go over a step-by-step guide to help you make this transition with confidence.
Assess Your Goals and Skills
Before you get too far into the process, you should assess what you want to achieve professionally and which skills you already possess that will help you get there. Ask yourself questions like:
- What are my career goals? Do I want to move up the ladder in my current field or make a complete 180 to something else?
- What skills do I have currently? If the answer is more than what’s necessary
in my current job, could I use them in something else?
- What skills do I need to help achieve my career goals? If I need new skills,
could I learn them independently, or do I need to attend courses?
Once you have the answers to these questions, they’ll serve as a guideline for your job journey and help you more clearly assess what new skills you need to attain.
Research the Field
Spending time researching the potential field you want to get into can help you understand what types of roles you could apply for and if the change would be a true fit for you. You can use websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed to research the type of environment and skills top employees in the field are utilizing. It can also be beneficial to speak with people who are currently working in the field so that you can get specific, firsthand advice on what you should expect.
Know Your Value
When making the switch to a new career, it’s important to assess your current worth in terms of wages and benefits. Consider your current experience and skills, as well as any new skills you’ve acquired since you’ve been in your current role.
Knowing these details will help provide you with more confidence when applying to roles in a new field.
Network, Network, Network
When it comes time to get the actual job, you’ll have to network. The importance of networking cannot be understated. Reach out to your contacts and let them know you’re looking to make a career change. You never know who can put you in touch with the right people to get you your dream job.
Utilize not only your established contacts but also industry-specific LinkedIn and Facebook groups to find potential leads for job openings.
Prepare for the Transition
Once you land a job in the new field, you’ll likely start at the bottom. This means that you’ll meet new people and some of your current skills may not be applicable.
To help make your transition smoother, come up with a plan to successfully manage the learning process. Perhaps you have the luxury of taking time off before making a complete switch, allowing you the opportunity to take a course or two to gain some experience in the field? Make a list of the skills you need to learn and create a schedule for when and how you’re going to learn them.
Changing careers can be both an exciting and terrifying venture. Having a plan and taking the necessary steps to make the switch can be a great help. Hopefully, this guide has given you an idea of what to consider when making your career switch and how to prepare for it. Good luck!