Are you one of the tens of thousands of people considering a career change? Perhaps you have new or continuing interests that you’ve put on the back burner. Maybe your skills are underutilized or you’ve allowed a dream vocation to go abandoned. If you’re like so many others thinking about the implications of a life change, here are three things you can do to get moving in the direction of change.
- Get Your Mind Right: When you’ve identified a new direction for your career, consider whether you have all the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful transition. If you don’t, there are several ways to get what you’ll need: workshops, seminars, continuing education courses, certifications, and college degrees are all valuable ways to gain knowledge and skills. The more you find out about a potential career—via workshops, college courses, seminars—the better your decision will be when it comes to switching.Intra-company networking can provide you with information about your new chosen field. Colleen Plasek, Career Coach at Bellevue University, has this to say about successful plans for career change: “Are there professionals at your current company you could talk with? For instance, every company has someone doing accounting. If that is your interest area, set up a time to talk with someone working in accounting at your company.”
- Hold Up Your Sign: “Will Work for Experience.” In the 21st Century, getting your foot in the door, often means knocking on the door with your gifts. In other words, approach colleagues and companies with an offer of equity for opportunity. The familiar formula of intriguing cover letter + knock your socks of resume + blow them away interview = job offer is gone and may never return. It has been replaced by the necessity to build relationships with influential people and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities right where you want your success to grow. Internship, working part-time, job sharing, job shadowing, apprenticeship, temporary work, volunteering, contracting for projects, executive-on-loan programs, and even “cold calling” can make inroads where traditional methods fail.
- Make Sure Your Change Adds Up: When considering a career change, remember to assess the personal financial impact of the change. Will you make more or less money in your new career? How much money will you make during the transition? Are there lifestyle changes that you need to consider in order to make your career change a success? Create a budget so that you have a detailed picture of what your financial situation will be like before, during, and after your career change.
Acquiring knowledge, gaining necessary experience, and making plans to handle the financial impact of your career change are important steps to take that can help make your career change both pleasant and successful.