Changing careers is a significant milestone in one's professional life. Although it is among the most challenging risks you can take, given that you must compete for a job with people that already have the required experience to hit the ground running. It is also an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons and take your life to the next level when you feel that it is time to turn the page and start a new chapter in your professional life. If you are on the verge of a career transition and need to make sure everything will go as planned, you may find the following tips helpful.
1. Choose the Right Time
Try to go ahead with a career change when your personal life is stable enough so that you can solely focus on this significant shift. There is increased stress involved when changing careers considering the uncertainty of your future role and having a secure environment will give you the confidence to take the bold steps you need to take to be successful in the professional transition you wish to go for. So, avoid making important decisions when, for example, you are in a negative mindset, or if you face personal issues or when you are about to relocate. The key is to keep your mind open to new opportunities that would not have appeared naturally in other circumstances.
2. Look for Mentors
They say that if you want to be a success, you need to surround yourself with the right people. In our case, try to seek out experts belonging in the field of your oncoming career change and ask for their advice and coaching. You will have a lot to learn when you change careers and working with mentors and people that come from different backgrounds will help you gain valuable insights into the requirements of your future role.
You can also talk to people currently employed with a company in your chosen sector to understand the internal culture of the business (and whether it accepts career changers), including their recruitment process. Network with anybody from senior to junior employees to get a good grasp of how things work.
3. Be Confident
Do not let yourself be let down by the thought that you only have one chance to change career. Also, try not to limit your potential by defining yourself by your job title such as "website designer", "accountant" or whatever. Instead, consider this career shift as an opportunity to try something new, and believe in yourself that you are more than capable of working and succeeding in your new sector.
The kind of skills you are good at
The things you naturally enjoy doing
The kind of people you wish to work with
The environment you would be happy in
What energises you the most work-wise
Then narrow down your options to 2-3 areas so you can do a more targeted research and start looking for job openings at specific job roles and proceed with confidence.
4. Don't Rush it - think of the trajectory
Working towards a new career over time is much more preferred than radically reinventing your career instantly. Take your time to, say, learn a new skill or study a course that will make yourself more attractive to hiring managers. Or, instead of taking one giant leap, you could opt for baby steps and gradually move into your new career through a series of jobs. This will also allow you to have a constant flow of income without having to go back to entry-level salaries. However, if you do find a position at a great company that will eventually position yourself for future success (even though it may not be the perfect role for you), go for it without sweating the details. Chances are the experience you will gain will be valuable.
Are you ready to embrace new challenges and set yourself up for long-term success?