Sometimes it happens. We think we know what we want to be when we grow up, and we make every honest effort to get there and fit that role.
But then reality sets in. The job isn’t quite as glamorous as we thought it would be. The hours aren’t great. The pay or advancement opportunities aren’t really there. And all around everyone seems pretty miserable or complacent.
Is this how you really want to spend the next 30 years of your life? Surviving?
Fortunately starting a new career isn’t really as tough as some people think it is. In my career I’ve seen engineers leave to become doctors, project mangers become financial advisers, and some people make the move to the greatest profession of all – entrepreneur!
But nonetheless it is not a decision that should not be taken lightly. There is every chance that by making the move to a new field, you will lose your status and a portion of your salary in the process. Helpful job search sites may be able to help you find a new career opportunity, but are you prepared to make such a big change?
Here are five things you should consider before you decide on starting a new career and beginning a new chapter in your life.
Why Are You Interested in Starting a New Career in the First Place?
If you are unhappy with your current career, take the time to sit down and really ponder what it is you want. In some cases, it may not be the career itself, but rather the company you work for or your co-workers that are making you unhappy.
If a career change is in order, you need to think about what you truly want to do. Explore your options and do plenty of research on the topic. Once you know what you want, it will give you direction in your job search.
What Skills Do You Have?
Do you have any skills or experience that can transferred to your new career? Even if you do not have direct experience, consider other universal skills. Always play on your strengths and choose skills or experience that employers will value. For example, if you have managerial or IT skills, this can be used in just about any industry. Relating your skills and experience to the career you have in mind is a great way to make your resume stand out despite being inexperienced.
Can You Afford to Change Careers?
In an ideal world, each person would choose their career based on passion and interest alone. Unfortunately, money is what makes the world go round. Can you truly afford to make a career change? In all likelihood, you will find yourself starting at square one and will need to work your way up in the company. If you have a family to support or have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle, you may need to reconsider this decision.
If you can afford the pay cut or your new job will actually increase your salary, changing to a new career may be an excellent move.
How Much Do You Know About the Industry?
Do you really know what you are getting yourself into as far as the industry you’re looking to enter? Do have any first-hand experience. Regardless of how little or how much you know, you should take the initiative to learn all that you can. Find out what challenges workers face, what your responsibilities will be, if there is room for growth and general information on the industry itself. Not only will this improve your chances of landing a job, but will also help you prepare for the obstacles that lie ahead.
How Will You Get Your Foot in the Door?
It can be difficult to get started in a new career without first knowing a few people in the industry. Networking can go a long way and it will help you find opportunities you would have otherwise missed. Use social media websites like LinkedIN or industry events to meet with other professionals in the field. Get to know the decision makers of companies and make friends with whomever you can. In many cases, it’s more about “who” you know rather than “what” you know.
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