Whether you were recently laid off from a job position, or are simply stuck at a point in your career when you feel the need for a change, there are good and bad ways to go about switching careers. For the sake of your sanity and happiness, this might be the only thing you can do to salvage employment. Here are 10 tips that will help you make a smooth and smart career change.
1.) Evaluate your current satisfaction- Ask yourself some questions about why you are considering changing careers. Are you fulfilled in your career? What is your definition of success? Are there recurring themes in your everyday working life that dissatisfy you? Which aspects of your career do you like and dislike? Are you heavily affected by your job atmosphere and coworkers or boss?
2.) Identify and assess- Evaluate the work you’ve done throughout your career and decide which activities and jobs you were successful in. Assessing your interests and skills in your current position can help you determine whether or not this profession is helping you fulfill your core goals. Changing careers to something more in linje with your values may be a smart move.
3.) Gain perspective- Discuss different alternatives with friends and family, other business professionals, contacts, and a career counselor. You can get a good amount of advice by describing your ambitions and values with people who have a different perspective than you. Utilize online resources as well for career recommendations and encouragement.
4.) Decide a clear path- Take some time in deciding how you will go about changing careers, and which avenues you will pursue first. Having a strong grasp on which skills and interests you value most will give you a good idea about the course of action you want to follow. Having too broad of a plan is an inefficient way of going about changing careers.
5.) Try a new and different job- Your job is not your career. Maybe it is the position you are in now, or simply the company that you work for that is the problem. Why not try switching to a different sized business, with a new boss and different colleagues? You may realize it was not your career that needed changing, just your job.
6.) Volunteer or freelance- If your financial situation allows it you could do this full time; and if not, try it out when you have some free time. You could learn a lot about where your true interests lie by trying your hand at various organizations. Doing this will allow you to gain experience and perspective about what you like and don’t like about your career.
7.) Shadow professionals- When considering changing careers, you may not know everything that you need to to make an educated decision. You could observe a different position first hand by following another business professional around for a few hours or a couple of days in a job that really sparks your interest.
8.) Go back to school- Getting a new degree in your chosen field is a great way to change careers. Not only are you furthering your knowledge and skill set, but job recruiting and networking are built into the program. Although, if you already have a number of connections in the career you wish to be in, this may not be worth your time or money.
9.) Redo your resume and cover letters- Look over your resume and renovate it to tailor to the new career you wish to pursue. Highlighting different abilities and accomplishments that would make you a good candidate for another position can help greatly. Make relevant experiences and skills the focal point of your resume, and craft cover letters that explain to employers why you are changing careers.
10.) Try starting your own business- If you are willing to make an investment in starting your own small business, this may be the best decision for you. Some things to consider are whether you want create or just run a business, if you want a co-owner, how much funding you will need, and how much you will want to work. Changing careers to business owner is a large leap, but could be beneficial in the long run.