How to Change Careers

You have been restless about your career for a while now, and you are thinking of changing your career. While you may have enjoyed your current career for many years, another career that you have been thinking about sounds intriguing. Changing careers can impact your life and create new opportunities in the years to come. Good for you! We know that this is a monumental decision, and you want to ensure that you choose the right career. Therefore, you need to take steps to determine the best pathway to obtain a new career successfully. How do you get started? Here are the 10 steps to successfully change your career path.

10 Steps to Change Your Career Successfully

1. Evaluate your current career.

Take some time to seriously evaluate your current career. Is it the job itself that you are dissatisfied with, or is it the company? What exactly do you like and dislike about your current career and where it seems to be heading? Why do you want to change, and what ideas are you thinking about?

Spend several days to really think about these questions and jot down notes as you think. Then sit down and write out your thoughts. It doesn’t matter what format you use to write down your ideas, but do it so you can understand your thinking later when you read your notes. You can refer to this information as you work to change your career.

2. Assess your interests, skills and values.

What is it that you are hoping to accomplish with a career change? Is there a company that you are interested in joining or starting yourself? Is an industry change in your future? Assess your skills with an eye toward a future career. Which skills do you have that you need for this career? Which do you need to gain before you can move forward?

It’s also important to create a plan with a realistic timeline to complete each step. For instance, if you need to take structured classes or earn a certification, make sure you understand how classes are scheduled and your available time to work on these actions.

3. Build your skill set.

Depending on which skills you need before moving to your new career, there are a variety of ways you can learn. While some skills require formal training and certification in a classroom, others can be gained through volunteer work or via an experienced mentor. You can seek out alternative methods of gaining experience in a desired field by networking with people who are currently working in that field. Shadowing a mentor or acquaintance can give you a better feel for the position you are seeking.

4. Explore job options.

Research your new career fully. Thorough research can turn up career choices you weren’t aware of such as specialty jobs in niche fields.

5. Take a class or two.

One way to discover your level of interest in a subject is to take a class. You may find something exciting or learn that you really don’t like something that sounded interesting before.

6. Network.

Networking through your own contacts and contacts of a mentor or coach is the best way to find out about new careers. Using every resource you have, let people know what you are doing, and ask them if they know anyone you can contact. Often the people you meet several contacts later become your best sources of information.

7. Schedule informational interviews.

Ask people if they can spare 10-20 minutes to discuss their industry or career with you. Most people can take 10 minutes out of their day. When they say “yes,” make sure to be prompt and have your questions ready.

8. Work one-on-one with a career coach.

A career coach can guide you through your career change. Their insight, experience and connections are invaluable.

9. Consider a new job in your current industry.

You may find that your current industry has opportunities that you haven’t considered. Potentially, new careers may have developed over the last few years that didn’t exist before and may not be available at your own company.

10. Consider alternative industries.

Just because you’ve spent your career in one industry, doesn’t mean you can’t work in another. You would have a larger learning curve in a new industry, but you may be surprised at how many skills are transferable from one industry to another.

For more information on how to change careers, contact our career coaches today.