If you’ve ever attempted to make a career change, you’ll know that it’s not easy. Whether you’re looking to branch out with your own business, change industries, or simply move into a new role within the same business; going in a new direction is a daunting task that comes with a whole list of challenges. But don’t let that deter you from making an important change! There are always ways to move from one path to another, and luckily, we’ve put together these five steps to help you on your way.
1. There’s more than one chance to change.
Making any big change in your life can be stressful and scary. All too often we’re paralysed by our fear, making it impossible to move forward or to choose a direction. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that your life - and career – is a journey, not simply an outcome. So, rather than focusing solely on an end goal, try to think in terms of your next step, or what you would like to try next. Avoid putting added pressure on yourself by thinking that you need to find your true calling and your life’s passion, or making a much-needed change will be that much harder. Remember that very few people know exactly what they want to do with their lives from the very start, most of us figure it out as we go along. Plus, if it doesn’t work out, you can always go in another direction.
2. Base your next job on what you enjoy doing.
When changing careers, people tend to place a lot of focus on the skills they’ve developed or the professional experience they’ve gained, and use this to guide their next steps. But perhaps more important should rather be to think about what you enjoy and what you’re naturally good at. What sort of environment do you enjoy being in? What sort of people do you want to work with? These questions will help you narrow down your options, allowing you to do more targeted research into what specific jobs entail and what sort of experience and skills you will need to land one of these roles. Once you know what direction you want to go in, it becomes easier to see how you can plug in your existing skills and experience. Plus, this way, you’re less likely to end up doing another job that you don’t enjoy!
3. Be clear on your non-negotiables.
Do you have a good understanding of what your priorities are when it comes to choosing your new career path? If not, this is a step worth spending some time on. Your non-negotiables are things that you absolutely cannot do without, and it’s important that you make a clear list of what these are and separate them from your ‘nice-to-haves’. You’ll quickly be able to develop a checklist that you can use to cross-check prospective jobs to help you figure out if it’s an option worth pursuing. Whether it’s your everyday work environment, remuneration, or how rewarding the job is; non-negotiables will be different for everyone so it’s important to spend time figuring out what these are for you.
4. You need to believe that it really can happen.
Changing careers can be daunting. But if you believe in yourself and your ability to perform your new role well, you’re already halfway to achieving success! Remember, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, nobody else will have confidence in you either. So, to help build your self-belief, start by identifying key milestones on your journey to success. Next, pinpoint specific activities and tasks you need to do in order to achieve these goals. By taking these steps forward, no matter how trivial or small they may seem, you will slowly move towards achieving your goals and are sure to grow your self-confidence with each milestone reached.
5. Build your networks.
If you dream of starting a new business, changing careers or simply moving in a new direction, surrounding yourself with a strong and supportive network is key to your success! Talk to people in your network who are in the industry you wish to move into. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from their experiences, which will save you having to learn these lessons the hard way yourself. Ask questions about what they do, how they got there, and what you’ll need to make it in the field. This advice and support will prove to be invaluable in your journey to a successful career change.
You also want to have your tribe ready to support you when times get tough, exactly that is what you will find in TAC She Sisterhood, it is our community of likeminded people each and everyone of us on a journey to create a life and career we love. Come and join us!
Have an amazing day!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.