5 Steps To
A Career Change
Career changes are generally viewed as scary, but they don’t have to be. If you’re feeling stuck and unhappy with your job, take these five small steps toward a career change that will allow you to move forward, one step at a time.
1. Try It Before You Commit
A new career may sound appealing, but do you know what it’s really like on the job? Before you make big changes, see if you can try out your desired career path first. Check to see if there are any temp or freelance opportunities available. It helps to know someone in the field who’s willing to put their hand out for you. An internship is another viable solution. While some are unpaid, others will offer compensation and even provide you the chance for full-time employment later. In addition, don’t overlook volunteering. Many volunteer jobs won’t lead to professional jobs, but nonprofits of all kinds need help in many aspects and it could look good on your resume.
2. Know Your Transferable Skills
Many people think they need to go back to school before they make a career change because they need to acquire a new skill set. But, do you have skills now that can transfer to a new job later? Many jobs require standard skills like collaboration, communication, organization, and independence. Check descriptions of jobs that you’re interested in, then compare your skills from past experiences. Then, if you need to take any classes to fill in the gaps, you will have a better idea of which ones to enroll in.
3. Invest Wisely in Classes
Going back into a full-time university is costly when it comes to both time and money. Also, what will happen after you acquire a new degree? It’s always an uncertainty. Instead, look into individual courses that will benefit your future goals. Of course, this won’t apply to every career. If you want to be a nurse, clearly you need to have a nursing degree. But most changes are far less drastic than that and don’t require a new degree to start.
4. Talk to Others Who Have the Job You Want
This is beneficial in two ways. One, by talking to someone who has the job you want, you can gain insight to see if it’s really the career change for you. Next, knowing people on the inside will help you network your way into interviews. If you resort to sending your resume out into the virtual dark, it’s unlikely that it’s going to work without a little push. Try to get meetings set up, then prepare a list of questions that will help you figure out if you really are interested in this job and what skills you need to be successful in it.
5. Explore Other Changes You Can Make
Are you 100 percent certain that you need a career change? Maybe you need to consider a simple job change in the same industry. If you love the company you work for, but you know the job is not right for you, try exploring different areas of the company. Do some internal networking and talk to others to gain insight into other areas of the company. This also offers another opportunity to try it before you commit; you can look for a manager who won’t mind allowing you to shadow them, or you can take on a new project for another department.