Changing careers is a big deal. And no matter how long you’ve been part of the workforce, choosing to start over in a completely new field can be intimidating to say the least. But it can also be one of the best decisions you'll ever make.
In order to move forward with your career-changing plans, you should first consider these four things, which will all play a role in how you proceed on this journey.
1. What’s Making You Unhappy
By pinpointing what is making you unhappy about your current career, you can determine whether you’re simply dissatisfied with your employer or unfulfilled by what you’re doing. If it’s your company that’s the issue, you may want to consider looking for another job with a better employer instead of making a career change. But if you don’t enjoy what you do at work or you don’t feel like what you do matters—and you dread the moment when your alarm goes off in the morning—then it's time to consider exploring different career options.
2. What You’re Looking for in Your Next Career (With a Specific Field in Mind)
Some people would rather work independently from home rather than at an office building or stuck in a group, while others would prefer to create their own hours instead of obeying a typical 9-to-5 work schedule. Consider what your ideal work environment is so you know what to look for in your next employer.
Also remember that as you develop your list, you should have a field in mind that you want to break into. Although some people have always thought about working in a specific industry, others may need to spend time researching what types of jobs would allow them to do the kind of work they are truly interested in.
3. Who Could Offer You Some Professional Advice
Talk to anyone you know who has changed careers. By listening to other people’s stories, you become aware of certain obstacles that you’re inevitably going to face. You learn how to avoid making common mistakes as you go through the career-changing process.
Once you decide what field you believe would best suit you, reach out to any people you know who work in that industry. They can give you some solid advice on how to get started. For example, if you’re contemplating going into sales, they may be able to offer you some helpful tips. Your desired career may require you to go back to school, so you might need to spend a significant amount of time, energy, and money before you can embark on your new career.
4. Whether You’re Willing to Do the Work
Making a career change is going to involve a lot of work on your part. Aside from summoning the courage to take the initial step, you're going to have to research different industries, network, contemplate going back to school, and undertake any other tasks that come up as you start this journey. It will take time. But if this is something that you truly want to do, then it will be worth it.
You're Never Too Old to Change
Whether you’re thinking about making a career change when you're 30 years old or when you're 50, remember that it’s never too late to renew yourself professionally. Don’t spend your time wondering, “What if?” Make it happen instead! Try something new and the rewards may surprise you.
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