How To Successfully Change Your Career

Apr 6, 2018 by

If you are at a point in your life where your current job role no longer satisfies you, perhaps you are bored or do not see many options for career progression, then it might be the right time to consider a career change. Although the thought of this can be daunting at first, especially if your current role offers an element of job security, finding a career that is exciting to you, a job that makes you want to get up and go in the morning, can be worth a little uncertainty and some hard work. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re at, whether you are a recent graduate, or you have worked for twenty years in the same job.If you are hoping for more from life, now is the time to start working out what that could be and how you can get from where you are currently to where you want to be.Follow these steps to make sure that your career change is a success.

Define your goals

Before you attempt any major change, the first step is to define your goals. After all, you cannot get to where you want to be if you do not know exactly where that is. Ask yourself what is important to you, what you are good at and enjoy, where you want to be in five years time and how you would describe your ideal job. Write these down, as that can help you to retain focus on the things that you want to achieve.

Look at your skills and attributes

In order to make sure your career change is a success, you need to be honest with yourself about your current skills and attributes. If, for example, you are interested in social work, then the social worker qualities you will need include: empathy, optimism, a belief that change is possible, discretion, and excellent communication skills. While it is possible to learn many things, if your personality is not suited to a specific role, then you should look at alternatives within a similar field. If you have defined your goals, but you realize your knowledge or qualifications are somewhat lacking in a specific area necessary to your new career, look toward the study and training options available. If you cannot afford to attend a full-time course, then see if there is any part-time study as an option because this will allow you time to work alongside gaining new qualifications, although it may take a little longer to finish the course. Check if there is any financial help offered, perhaps by colleges or businesses offering to pay some training fees. Look into student loan possibilities, but be certain that the finances make sense before jumping into anything that may put your current lifestyle or home at risk.

Research

Undertaking thorough research is the key to making sure you have a good idea of the work involved in the career you want and the training and requirements necessary to get there. It is no good wanting to be the head chef in a top restaurant if you have never worked in a kitchen before. If it is your dream, then research what route the chefs you admire took to get to where they are. Learn from those who have already achieved what you want to. If you can, speak to a range of people working in the field you hope to move into, as that way you can learn more about the reality of the work as well as how they achieved their success. Nothing worth doing happens overnight, so be prepared for some hard work and don’t rush straight into anything without doing your research first so that you are fully prepared and ready to make it a success.

Make a plan

To make your goals achievable, you need to make a plan that is realistic and possible. If, for example, you hope to be an animator for Disney but have never done any illustration work before, then breaking this down into smaller steps, such as enroll in an illustration class, can take you closer to your goal as otherwise, it will remain unreachable and unrealistic. Ensure that any plan you make is SMART: Specific (simple, significant), Measurable (meaningful, motivating), Achievable (agreed, attainable), Relevant (reasonable, realistic, resourced and results-based), and Time-Bound (time-based with a deadline in place). SMART goals help you to pin down exactly what you need to do to achieve your aims, therefore making it far more likely that you will succeed.

Network

It may seem daunting,but networking is an important step to establish yourself in a new field and make valuable professional connections. These days networking can take many forms and doesn’t necessarily mean attending intimidating business networking events. Online networking via social media is a legitimate and easy way to make new connections without fear involved. Go on LinkedIn and see if you have any mutual connections with the people you want to connect to as this can help as an opening, as can simply asking for their advice as, in general, people like to offer advice and talk about the area they know well. If you make a new connection ask if they are available to meet up in real life, even if just for a coffee and for you to ask their advice or opinion on how you could proceed. Meeting people in real life can have more of an impact, and may also mean they are more likely to remember you if and when they hear of a job opening. Use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and join any relevant Facebook groups. Be interested in the people you are networking with and their work, and always be respectful in your tone just as you would be if you were talking with them face-to-face. If you are using Twitter to network, then use hashtags to categorize your tweets, thereby allowing you to join conversations and connect more easily with people who hold similar interests or work in a similar field. Online networking offers unique access to successful people in every field, so make sure you use it well to ensure your career change goes smoothly.

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