10 Tips for Changing Careers
Is your career not what you expected? Do you want to do something different? It happens more than you might think. Jobs change, the workplace changes, and people change. What seemed like a great career option when you started out might not seem so great now.
What can you do if what you’re doing on the job isn’t working out for you anymore? Even though making a change can be scary, especially if you have worked in the same career field for a long time, it can be done.
You’ll need to be at least a little brave – the one common factor most career changers have is a willingness to take a risk. Another factor is the ability to not consider their salary as critically important. They can look beyond present circumstances to the future potential of a new job. That isn’t always easy, but it can be done.
You don’t need to jump into a new career all at once. Sometimes it makes sense to start with baby steps, and gradually transition. Here are some ways to gradually switch to a different job or career.
Options for Transitioning Careers
Consider keeping your full-time job, for example, and gain some experience volunteering in the career field you would like to move to. Or start out by working part-time at a new job until you’re ready to commit to a change.
Taking steps in an alternative or a new direction can also help you tolerate a job that you probably shouldn’t be working in anymore. When you have other things to focus on, your situation at work may not seem so tedious or hopeless.
Consider different jobs at your current company or in your industry. Many companies hire internally before they advertise externally. If you are qualified for a different job at your company, apply for it. Discuss alternatives with your human resources department. Most companies want to keep good employees and will do their best to find another position, or even are willing to carve out a different niche or a new position for workers they want to keep.
Take college courses to gain some new skills or to update your skills that are a little out-of-date. Seminars and short programs are a good way to brush up your skills or to get started learning something new.
Consider online classes. There are tons of free and low-cost courses online – courses you can take to upgrade your skills, explore possible new career options, and get your brain moving in another direction. The more you learn, the more opportunities you’ll have.
If you really want to make a change, you’ll find a way. It may not be as quick or as easy as you would like, but it can happen.
10 Steps to Change Careers
Here are ten steps you will need to take to successfully change careers:
- Decide that you need a change.
- Itemize your career interests and values.
- Consider career options.
- Create a short-list of possible career alternatives.
- Research the career options on your list.
- Develop the skills you need to make a change.
- Incorporate those skills into your resume.
- Set short-term and long-term career goals.
- Start a job search.
- Get hired for a new job.
Even though it seems like it’s a challenge, and it can be, remember that you don’t have to do this all at once. You’ll be more successful if you take the time to plan and to take it one step at a time.