If you're considering a career change think carefully about what really drives you. At first, you might find it hard to get past thinking about “what pays the most” or “what’s the most secure”, especially in today’s economy.
Step # 1: Evaluate your strengths and skills
Once you know where your personal interests lie, take the time to figure out what skills you have and what skills you need. Remember, you’re not starting from scratch – you can often use the skills you already have as a starting point.
Skills, such as a flair for managing others, are called “transferable skills” and they can be applied to almost any field. When weighing up your expertise, don’t limit your skills and experiences to your work environment. And don’t only rely on yourself to help you find them. Brainstorm with trusted friends, colleagues or mentors. They might remind you of transferable skills you’ve forgotten about and help you think of how you could use them in the future.
Step #2: Don’t take on too much at once
A career change won’t happen overnight, you may need to learn new skills or brush up on existing ones to pursue your dream job. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the steps to successfully change careers. So break down large goals into smaller ones and accomplish at least one small thing a day to keep your momentum going.
Step #3: Ease slowly into your new job
Take time to network, volunteer and, if you can, even work part-time in your new field before fully committing to it. Not only will doing this make the transition easier, but you’ll be able to make sure you’re on the right path and make any necessary changes before you’re working in your new field. Don’t risk rushing into a change just because you’re unhappy in your current job. If you don’t take the time to make the right choice, you could end up in an even worse position than before.
Step #4: Don’t let these obstacles stand in your way
It’s always challenging to make a huge change and there may be many reasons why you may think changing careers later in life isn’t possible.
Here are some common obstacles and how to overcome them:
· It’s too much work to change careers: If you sit down and map out a rough plan of attack, breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones, it’ll be a lot more manageable than you think.
· I’m too old to change jobs: Remember, the more you’ve worked, the more likely you are to have skills you can transfer to a new career. You’re never too old to change your path.
· In this economy, I’m lucky to have a job. I don’t want to rock the boat: In today’s climate, it might feel like too much of a risk to consider changing careers. But if you’re unhappy in your current job, doing research on other options will only benefit you in the long run. You may discover a career with a more stable long-term outlook than your current career.