Making a career change is not always easy. Sometimes it can even be a scary thing, especially if you have been lounging around in the same job for years. With this economy, it’s very hard to muster the strength to drop everything and just go for what you really want. But that’s what makes it so exciteming. By not knowing what’s on the other end of the rainbow, you still get to go on a journey of self-discovery.
Of course there’s no reason to go into this unprepared. Here are a few thing to think about to make your career change go as smoothly as possible.
1) Start by asking yourself what you really want in a profession. The Oxford Program is a consulting firm that lets you launch your new career. Its founder, Steve Bohler, says that you need to decide what you really want and analyze what you can do without. According to him, you have to ask certain questions such as, “Will I be unhappy if I compromise with that?” or “Do you want to be self-employed?” He adds that good change is all about listening to your guts and your head..
2) Stop delaying. There are some people who start on the path to a career change, only to hesitate and then eventually back out. This keeps them dissatisfied and frustrated. If you really get down to business, stop delaying and start pushing on.
3) Lay the groundwork. There are things you need to do before you start making a career change. Put aside some amount of money before you start working for a new industry. Go through your connections and try to build relationships with people in the field. Preparing for change is a show of faith in your decision.
4) Do some research. Make a list of all your career options and then narrow it down to the one you want most. When you have too many options you get very confused.
5) Take action. Bohler suggests a couple of steps to fulfill your dreams: join professional clubs or organizations related to your chosen career, read up on the industry, volunteer in group acitivities, enroll in relevant classes, and ask experts and professionals about the industry you are planning to enter.
6) Schedule exploratory conversations. As part of your research, don’t limit yourself to only talking with the experts and the professionals. Ask the opinion of people who know you best and are familiar with your talents. This is all about exploring the aspects of your character that can help you with your career change.
7) Expect fear. Fear is inevitable, especially if you don’t know what lies ahead. But you can turn this fear into a positive force that gives light to the potential dangers in the near future. Ask yourself these questions: Is this fear valid? Why am I afraid?
8) Deal with past failures. Are there past failures in your life that seemingly prevent you from moving on? Deal with this by openly sharing your burdens with someone.
A career change is not easy but with a bit of determination and passion, it’s possible to succeed.