Have you found yourself stuck in a dead-end job? Do you gaze longingly at the clock waiting for the end of your working day? Is it a struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning because you’re dreading going to work? You may be a good candidate for a career change.
Knowing what to do and where to go from here, however, can be a worry. After all, ditching your job and changing direction can be a bold move. To make the transition a little easier, here are some top tips to help you.
Finding Your Dream Job
You’ve already decided that you want a career change, but perhaps you’re not sure which direction to take. You don’t want to spend the next few months pondering the decision because you’re keen to move on as quickly as possible, but how do you find the right job opportunity? There are three exercises you can try:
- Nine Lives – Imagine you’ve got nine lives, and in each one, you’ve got to work. You’ve got all the relevant skills and qualifications so now just write a list of nine jobs that interest you. What did you picture yourself doing when you were much younger, for example? The list is meant to help you identify any themes and guide you towards a particular career path.
- Top Proudest Moments – Make a list of the proudest moments in your life so far. They could include moments in your personal life, work achievements or things you did in school. Once you’ve got a list think about why those moments are so important to you. This exercise aims to better understand what’s important to you and what you’re good at.
- Take it Back to Basics – In your lifetime you’ve probably held a variety of roles, paid and unpaid, part-time, full-time, volunteer positions and internships. Make a list of them all and then write what you liked and disliked about each role. When you’ve finished, take a look at the list and see if any themes are jumping out at you. It might give you a clue as to what type of job is going to be best for you.
Once you’ve completed these exercises, you’ll be in a better position to identify your career situation, what career path is going to suit your style and personality and the skills you need to make your career change. You might have uncovered that you’ve got a passion for numbers and helping people. In which case, accountancy might be the new direction. To make the switch, you’ll need to consider expanding your knowledge and acquiring new qualifications. An online BBA in accounting at Walsh University, for example, allows you to study while working.
With a clear picture of your career direction, here are a few more tips to help.
Quitting your job before you’ve found a new position is a bold move to make and not necessary until you’ve explored all your options. It is possible to have a side hustle alongside your current job and allows you to set a good foundation for your move and then confidently make the transition. If you want to start your own business, for example, there’s nothing wrong with starting it straight away and spending just a few hours on it every week. If you want to move into a different industry start making connections now.
A Healthy New Career Requires Networking
Who you know still matters in the business world, so it’s never too early to start making new connections. Start building and maintaining relationships and helping others when you can. How do you network successfully? It’s not about sending out countless emails or connecting with everyone you can on LinkedIn, and it’s not about having a wallet full of business cards. Real networking is about getting to know people and they need to be people who can help you along your way.
Finding the right role and then making a career change is not going to be easy and it could well be a very long-drawn-out process, particularly if you need to update your skills and qualifications. Throughout the transition, you need to stay focused and put your energy and effort into achieving your chosen outcome. Perseverance and determination are what’s required, and you need to be smart about how you spend your time.
Have an Action Plan
If you’ve completed the exercises mentioned, you should have a clearer idea of what you want but have you thought about how you’re going to get there? Create a clear action plan, so you know what you have to do to achieve your goal. Break down the plan into achievable steps you can work through. Include ways to reward yourself as you move through each stage of your plan.
Think About Who You’d Like to Work With
When it comes to thinking about your new career, don’t simply focus on the type of work you want to do. Spend some time thinking about the type of people you’d like to work with. A good way to assess whether a certain profession is the right one is to spend time with people who are already doing it. If it’s the right career move, you should feel comfortable in their company and feel a certain affinity with them.
One last tip is not to be afraid about making the change. It’s OK to feel a little scared. However, it’s important not to let it take over and control what you do or don’t do. When something is blocking your way take the time to assess what it is and why you feel that way and then take steps to confront your fears, deal with them and move forward. You don’t have to do it alone as there are friends and family who can help you. There is also a range of different organizations that might be able to offer some valuable advice.
The path to a new career change requires work, time and thought but each step is important if you want to do something different.