Did you know that people today change jobs seven times more often in their lifetime than those in the workforce 50 years ago?
Since you are in the same generational boat, what are the things you need to do when changing careers?
With an abundance of career choices available, being ambitious and career-driven can lead you to discover the right path relatively quickly. However, the sheer variety of options can also make finding the perfect career quite challenging.
A new direction…
First off, you need to have all the proper support and information before embarking on a new career. Having a clear idea of your goals, however, can easily set you on the right track. Don’t worry about being stuck in a rut, as opportunities abound. You just have to be prepared and ready to pounce.
While it’s exciting to make a significant change, the process of transitioning to a new career can be daunting. This is where having a guiding hand, a mentor to walk alongside you, can make all the difference. If you are on the threshold of a major career shift, we have some practical tips for you.
Here are 10 things to do when changing careers:
1. Invest in Yourself
Just as starting or expanding a business requires financial investment and tons of preparation, investing in your personal assessment and development when changing your career is just as essential.
You might want to consider going through psychological testing that can help analyze what career suits best your personality and qualifications. While it’s not a foolproof method but taking a test such as the Strong Interest Inventory test can help you understand more about yourself, so you can align your personality with the ideal career.
You are embarking on a very important journey that will shape your future, so it is worth investing your time and money in this undertaking.
2. Mind Map
Gain clarity about your future goals and ambitions. Determine whether your focus is on financial success, personal growth, or venturing into entirely new territories.
Mind mapping is an effective technique with many known applications such as in composing essays and thesis presentations, or designing project flow. You can also use it to figure out your central goal when changing your career direction.
Just as an actual map helps you navigate to your intended destination, a mind map can mark the twists and turns you need to watch out for.
3. Write an Action Plan
Now that you know the importance of investing in yourself and you have probably drawn up a mind map to achieve your goals, it’s time to lay down a clear and achievable action plan.
Say, your ultimate goal is to become a doctor. After completing the prerequisites (high school diploma, pre-med course), you have to prepare for the MCAT. After passing it, applying to medical school will be your next step. So, you see, there should be a step-by-step plan for your goal.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for each milestone achieved along the way.
4. Stay Focused
It’s wonderful to have an action plan in place, a road map to where you want to go. But we’re not gonna lie to you: getting there is not easy. The journey can be tiresome, long, and full of obstacles, and quitting would cross your mind repeatedly along the way.
You have to be resilient and stay in control of every element within your path. Embrace perseverance and stay committed to the path you’ve chosen. Always keep your eyes on the prize, knowing that all the hard work and sacrifices will be worth it.
5. Know Your Strengths
Identify and embrace your strengths, ensuring they align with your passions. This self-awareness boosts confidence in successfully changing careers.
It is also important that you learn to play to your strengths and enjoy the process too. Look at Steph Curry. He knows that he can’t play above the rim because of his size, or lack of it by NBA standards. So, he concentrates on his strength, which is shooting threes, making him one of the most dangerous players behind the arc.
Once you identified your strength and learned how to use it, you’ll feel much more confident about your abilities to successfully transition to another career.
6. Get Excited
Embrace the new journey as a thrilling challenge. Allow yourself to experiment and find what truly excites and motivates you despite the challenges.
Kindle the fire in your guts and jumpstart your new career. Don’t forget that whatever you are going to do is something you are truly passionate about. It may take some hit-and-miss to figure out what really floats your boat, but once you find it, it will truly be worth it.
7. Don’t Just Settle
Avoid settling for just any job. Establish clear boundaries and criteria while searching for a new career to ensure a perfect fit.
If you will not go after what you want in making that career change, you will find yourself back to where you started. You will not find that fulfillment you desperately seek. And that’s not the way to go.
Take, for example, Chef Heston Blumenthal. He is the chef-owner of The Fat Duck, one of the most expensive restaurants in the UK, and has been awarded the most coveted 3 Michelin Stars. He used to have a day job as a repo man and credit controller, but he never waver in his dream of becoming a professional chef.
When changing careers, make sure that you connect with the best people to help you succeed in your new path. You probably think you could do it alone, but you couldn’t be more wrong. No man is an island in any profession or enterprise.
You can leverage social media and LinkedIn to connect with people who are in your desired career field. You can also attend networking events, seminars, and trade fairs. From here, you can figure out how to build a career that you can be proud of.
9. Overcome Fear
Embrace the fear of change as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Taking courageous steps forward can lead to the best decisions of your life.
How many people regretted not going after their dreams because they froze in fear when an opportunity presents itself? You don’t want to become one of them. Remember, you will never learn to swim unless you get in the water.
10. Manage Existing Relationships
While transitioning, be proactive in handling any friction with your current employer. Don’t burn bridges, so to speak. At least, not right away. Be sure to make a proper turnover and leave your past work amicably.
However, focus on your future and don’t let the fear of leaving hinder your progress. It may seem selfish to leave when your past employer can’t find a replacement for you right away, but you shouldn’t be tied longer than the normal turnover time, which is 2 to 4 weeks.
Changing careers is an adventure filled with opportunities for self-discovery and growth.
By investing in yourself, staying true to your passions, and building a strong support network, you can confidently navigate this transformative journey and achieve a fulfilling and successful new career.
Don’t give in to fear, keep your eyes on the prize, and take the plunge after doing your due diligence.