There are a ton of reasons why people itch to change their careers. The most common reasons are for better pay, that the current job is too stressful, for a better work-life balance, to get a new challenge and when you are no longer passionate about what you are doing. If you are looking to change your career, here is a guide to help you shift your career path successfully.
1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction and do a personal inventory
Before the leap of switching to a new career path, assess your current job situation. Write down what things about your job you like and dislike. Assess if your current dissatisfaction stems from your work content, company culture or from your colleagues. This evaluation will help you narrow down what an image of job satisfaction looks like to you. Also, do a personal inventory of your skills, interests and values. Look at your past successful roles, projects and jobs to determine the activities that you thrive doing. Analyze the skills that led to you succeeding in the previous projects. Assess if your skills and core values fit well in your current career to know whether changing your career path is your bet.
2. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives
After analyzing your skills and core values, the next step is understanding your career options. Brainstorm and research career options and industries that are a good fit for your core values and skills. Discuss potential career opportunities with your friends and family.
Alternatively, ask close people in your network to suggest career alternatives that they feel match your skills and values. You could also seek the help of a career counsellor. With a professional in your corner, you can learn about your personality and how it would gel in the current workforce.
3. Find job matches
Once you narrow down your search to potential job types, you can now intensify your research. Have informational interviews with people who are thriving in the field that you are eyeing. Find people in your circle that can refer you to people in the industry you want to join. Your college alumni association is also a great place to find professionals in your preferred field.
4. Develop new skills and set milestones to hit
After you have all the information you need in your hands, it is time to take action. Understand what it takes to get you on your new career path. If the field you want to move to requires degrees and certifications, enroll in classes. Online resources and courses are also excellent for enhancing your understanding of your new career and finding the right opportunities interviewing now. Ensure you have timelines and deadlines to complete different milestones in your skill development quest.
Identify opportunities in your current work to acquire the skills needed for a career change. Seek opportunities to volunteer or intern. The main advantage of this is that you can gauge if the field is what you think it is and if it makes a good fit. Do not forget to add the new skills you gain to your resumes.
5. Leverage your network
After doing all you need to do, the last step is asking your network to put in a good word for you and inform you of opportunities in the new field.
When changing career paths, you have to be strategic. Following the steps above will help you transition smoothly into your new role. Remember, there is no age limit for changing careers. You can do it any time and achieve the job satisfaction you may be yearning for all this time.