Are you thinking of a career change? We’ve all been there before. You’re not as happy in your career as you could be, you’re tired and you’re overworked. The point at which you found your job fulfilling has long since passed and what’s worse, you can’t think of any other job in the same industry that’s available or appealing! You just want to make it until the end of the day and relax. And then…and then your boss comes by and drops another three hours of paperwork on you and the switch goes off in your head.
About twenty minutes later on your commute home, as you’re smiling to yourself thinking about how many expletives you were able to rattle off at your now ex-boss (if this is you, you might want to read How to Build a Strong Relationship With Your Boss), the creeping realisation that you may have just killed your career begins to dampen your spirits. But don’t fret; this is an opportunity! What you’ve really needed all along is a career change, and now is the perfect time to do it. Just read on for some tips and inspiration as to why a career change might be in order.
Career changes are more common than you think
The first thing to keep in mind when you’re contemplating the process of changing careers is that it’s never too late to do so and there’s certainly no limit on how many times you can switch. Given some growing trends, many analysts predict that those in their early-twenties today will have had fourteen different jobs by the age of 38.
It’s unlikely that all fourteen will be along the same career path too. The point is, the way many of us approach careers has changed. Working as the night guard at the cemetery for forty years until retirement isn’t really a “thing” any more (unless that’s what you really want to do…) It’s expected that we will all change our careers once or twice (or thrice) throughout the course of our lives. The key is to understand and accept that, then figure out the best way of going about doing it.
Consider what you want in a career change
The first step in plotting out a successful career change is to figure out what you want from your new career that you weren’t getting from the last. Do you want more money? A more flexible schedule? Better job security? Room for advancement? A better location? If any of these are key priorities for you, do some research and pursue the career that offers these qualities.
If your troubles are more intangible than that and you’re looking for a career that fulfils you on emotional and mental levels, then you’ll need to do some soul searching. One trick is to think about what you do when you find yourself moseying through a bookstore. To which section do you go first or spend the most time? If this is the genre of book that most captivates you, then maybe it’s the field of work that you should look into and might satisfy you best.
Ensure you have the skills for success
One of the best things to do when changing careers is to identify what skills and experience you have that are transferable that you can apply to another career. Figuring out just what these skills are can help you decide on a new career path. But it might just be the case that you have your heart set on a career but you don’t have any applicable skills, knowledge or credentials, that’s ok!
Today it’s easier than ever to obtain necessary credentials for jobs. Back in the day, you might have had to attend night school or endure an otherwise labour and time intensive processes to gain the necessary skills. But with online learning, you’re sure to be able to find what you need to study and undertake it at a pace that suits you. (Psst, Upskilled has numerous options for whatever you want to study. Just take a look.)
Keep an open mind
You’ve already decided you need a change in life, so you should be open to change. This might mean considering options you would not have previously considered. If you think you’ve chosen a new career path but aren’t entirely sure, or can’t figure out how to go about doing it, conduct some informational interviews.
Contact people who have found success in the career you want (check out How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn) and ask if they would be willing to answer a few of your questions. Even ask to conduct interviews with those who hire people for positions you want. Informational interviews are a great way to learn about an industry as well as meet people and do some networking.
Maybe you’ll even find a mentor, somebody to whom you can go for advice or inspiration. A mentor will help you stay on track if your career change encounters some problems. Lastly, don’t think it will be as easy as just jumping from one job to another job. You might need to take a step back to give yourself a running start with a new career. Never rule out doing some volunteer work if you can find some related to your field of interest either.
Are you ready for a career change?
After all this, are you ready to embark on a new career path? Maybe you’ve changed careers before in the past. Tell us about your experiences. What did you do right? What were your mistakes? And remember, online learning is always a great aid to a career change.