How to Successfully Change Your Career Path
There are a range of different reasons as to why you may be thinking about changing lanes in your career or moving to a new industry or professional discipline.
The motivation can sometimes arise from various avenues. Some of them being boredom, the desire for more responsibility & excitement, the desire for more money, work drying up in your current industry or you may even have an entrepreneurial urge which needs satisfying.
Whatever it is, many of us change careers, industries and professional direction at least once in our lifetimes.
It’s a natural thing and finding the career and profession which allows you to spring out of bed in the morning with excitement for the day is truly an amazing thing.
However, the career change can sometimes be a daunting and stressful experience at first, as most need to take a slight step backwards initially to learn the “tools of the trade” and ultimately become an effective resource in the position you have moved into.
This can sometimes come with a slight decrease in pay which can affect all components of your life, especially if juggling mortgage payments and providing for your family.
Hence, it’s very important to plan ahead and take into consideration a range of factors to ensure success and the migration has a minimised negative impact on your life.
Listed below are 7 points on How to Successfully Change Your Career Path:
Intimately Understand Your WHY
I believe this is an exercise we all need to do regularly to maintain motivation in life.
When it comes to the career change, you need to deeply understand your reasons for WHY you want to make the move.
The migration at some stages will be very difficult.
If you don’t have your WHY specifically detailed, there’s a chance you will lose motivation along the way and this can be an initial catalyst for overall failure.
Understand your WHY...
Write it down if you must and let it stare back at you. This simple exercise goes a long way.
Have Your Finances In Line
As mentioned above, once making the move, you might initially be earning less than in your previous position.
You need to plan for this and set aside enough money so as you can make up for the lower income you might receive at first.
Make the Transition in Stages (if possible)
This might involve taking short courses whilst still in your previous role, doing some unpaid weekend work to gain experience or starting a full scale qualification which will get you a job in the industry you desire.
Breakdown Your Long Terms Aspirations into Smaller Goals
It can be overwhelming to look at where you want to be in 5 years when you haven’t even taken a step towards the transition yet.
Try not to focus heavily on the end goal at first.
It’s good to know where you want to be in 5 years but a better approach would be to break down the transition into smaller milestones and chip away at the smaller goals, one by one, ultimately directing you to your end goal.
Know Which Skills Transfer Over
It’s a good idea to look at all your technical, adaptable and transferable skills and figure out what can and can’t be utilised in the new profession you seek to engage in.
Once you have conducted this exercise, it will then allow you to restructure your resume, cover letters and LinkedIn profiling.
This is important for numerous reasons. Your resume and professional profiling typically stands as your first impression when seeking new employment.
Hence, it needs to hold as much relevance as possible for the new positions you are chasing after.
Initially this can be as simple as adding new connections on LinkedIn and sparking conversation that way.
You can also do some research to identify various industry bodys in the sector.
From there you can to sign up for memberships or even attend networking events such as conferences, etc.
This will allow you to meet new people and plant the seed with people who can help you along the way. You may even come across a new employer in the process.
Take Your Time to Find The Right Fit
As eager as you may be to get started in the new sector, you should take your time selecting the right role & business.
If not, you may end up taking a role which sends you backwards whilst you chew through your savings.
Yes, there will be an element of unknown at first, regarding whether the role and company is right for you.
However, do your very best to understand and know of the businesses drivers and what their plans for you will be as time goes on.
A good exercise would be to identify 10 companies in your target sector and research them as much as possible.
This might involve contacting some of their employees to learn of their opinions of the company or to obtain information on future projects that might hold opportunity for you.
At the end of the day, you only live once and even though there might be a few backwards steps at first, it will all be worth it in the end if the outcome involves doing something you love..
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