8 Ways to Successfully Make a Career Change

A career change will seem intimidating to someone who has not done it before. There are many reasons why people seek a career change. Maybe they have developed new interests that they wish to include in their work, or maybe they need more flexible working hours, more money, etc.

The list is endless because everyone deals with their own circumstances. Changing careers is scary only if you let it scare you. Luckily, thousands of job opportunities can be extremely helpful when looking for new options. Here is a step-by-step guide to smoothly transition into your new field.

Assess the current situation

Before committing to a new career, it is crucial to evaluate your current job situation. Take a step back and analyze the reasons behind your unhappiness. Why does this job make you unhappy? What are the reasons behind your dissatisfaction? Is your unhappiness because of the nature of your work, the company culture, or the people you work with?

Asking yourself these questions is important because you do not want to switch your career and end up in the same spot. Make a list of all the things that demotivate you at your current job. Doing so will help you create a path for yourself while being fully aware of what to avoid when you make a switch.

Evaluate your strengths and interests

Take a moment to evaluate your skills, strengths, and interests. You want to know what you possess as a professional before making a career change. Identify your strengths as a professional; what are the things that make you good at your job? What can you carry forward to the new job?

Also, recognizing your interests will help you identify your potential career path, and your skills and strengths will make a great selling point for any new job vacancies you come across. You may not want to work in the same job role, but many skills are transferable and can work as an added advantage to your new career.

Research alternatives

Now that you know what your strengths are and what you wish to avoid, it is time to start researching alternate career options. Find out what kind of careers your skills are an advantage for. Discuss with your family and friends to gain a different perspective. They can help you identify strengths you were not aware of in the first place.

Or you can take it one step further and consult a career counselor to help you analyze the potential risks and benefits of your career options. They will also brief you about various job vacancies in your interested fields. Make a list of all the possibilities that are more beneficial for you than risky.

Analyze your career list

Once you have a list of alternative careers ready, read about each option. Select a few main ones that you are most interested in. These careers should help your interest as well as utilize your skills. Conduct in-depth research about each of these main choices to better understand making a successful career change. Reach out to your connections who might be working in the same field you are interested in. Doing so will help you in attaining further insight into your options.

Shadow professional

Even though there are thousands of job opportunities, fewer job vacancies are usually compared to the number of candidates applying. So it is important to prepare yourself for the role. A highly effective way to learn about a new career path is by shadowing a professional who has worked in that field for many years.

It will not only guide you about the work style and the nature of your possible new career but also prepare you for landing a role in the same field. Many college career offices can help in contacting college alumni who will be interested in receiving job shadowers.

Identify learning opportunities

Once your mind is about your new career, start searching for possible learning opportunities to help you prepare. Consider taking online classes or crash courses to learn in-depth about the new field. You can also talk to your connections to identify what subjects to learn and prepare yourself. There is also an option to attend weekend seminars to get expert advice and knowledge.

Brush up on skills

This step is not mandatory but highly recommended. Since you have already identified the skills that can benefit your new career, it is best to brush up on them. This will be an added advantage when you start applying for various job opportunities. If there are skills that you do not possess but are highly favorable for the new role, try to develop those skills beforehand so that you are already familiar with them by the time you start coming across job vacancies.

Prepare your essentials

Once you finish the planning and preparation phase, update and prepare your resume as per the new role. Write a new resume headline and career objective. Add all your relevant skills and experience in detail. Since you will be changing your career, it is recommended to use a functional resume format. A functional resume format will help highlight your skills and build relevant focus.

Also, write an impressive cover letter that reflects your ambitions. Update your LinkedIn account as well; most companies look up the candidate on LinkedIn to get a brief about their achievements and online presence.

Lastly, just remember to take it one step at a time. Nobody likes change, the fear of the unknown, or worse, the fear of facing failure. So do not dive into the deep end and expect yourself to float.

Take one small step every day, even when your body tells you not to, even when it is highly inconvenient. Changing your career will not take place in one day. It is supposed to take some time. So do not second guess your decision. Learn to trust your gut. You never know; a new job opportunity might come knocking at your door any second!

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