There are many reasons why you could decide to make a career change. Perhaps you’ve lost your passion, you’ve found a new interest that you want to pursue, or you simply your life has changed and your previous career is not a fit anymore. Whatever the reason, changing careers is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before making the big leap, it’s important to put in the leg work so that you’re well-equipped when choosing a new career path that is right for you. We’ve put together these 4 easy steps to help plan a major career move.
Before jumping into a new career, it’s important to first take a step back to evaluate your current situation. Why are you looking for a new career? What is working for you right now and what is not? A good way to investigate this is to keep a journal, noting down your daily reactions to tasks and situations. If you are currently working, you will be able to gain better perspective on exactly what it is about your situation that is or isn’t right. Is it the people you work with, the company culture, or simply the tasks you’re required to do? If your desire for change is based on personal relationships, perhaps you should consider a new job in the same industry before moving in a whole new direction. Also, consider alternative roles that would allow you to make use of the industry knowledge you’ve worked hard to gain. If you are on a career break this exercise will be hugely valuable to reconnect with yourself and understand better what kind a career path you should embark on.
The next step is to spend some time assessing your interests, values and skills. Think about where you have been the most successful in the past and how various roles have made you feel? Remember that it’s important to align your core values and skills with your career path. Perhaps it’s worth taking a few online tests to help you determine where your strengths and interests lie. Once you have an idea of your skills and passions, try brainstorming some ideas for career alternatives that will best align with these. It’s always helpful to get an outsiders perspective too, so make sure you run your thinking past friends, family, or your mentor. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, a career counsellor can help make some recommendations too.
By now, you should have a good list of potential career options. But before you make a choice, you first need to find out as much as you can about each option. Is there an opportunity for you to volunteer or freelance in the field to get a taste of what it would be like? Reach out to personal or professional contacts who are currently working in your field of interest to get an insider’s viewpoint, or set up a job shadow to get a first-hand look at what the job will entail.
The evaluation process should not only help you narrow down your ideal career path, but should also help you assess the areas where you need to upskill. Research some education opportunities that would help you bridge the gap for a smoother transition into your new field. Evening classes or online options are a great option for upskilling yourself, while still working in your current job. Sign up for seminars, talks and online tutorials; the more you can learn now, the easier it will be to make your career change a success.
If you are now ready to make this change and create your new career and would like to know about the most common mistakes - and what to do instead? Then download our free guide here
Remember, it is never too late to create a life and career you love!
Have a great day!
Bye for now.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.