The mere thought of changing careers after you’ve already
invested many years into your current field can be downright terrifying to many
people, and understandably so.
People are often scared of going out of their comfort zone as well as the unknown. If you’re looking to change careers, you’re basically taking on those two daunting challenges at the same time.
Still, even if the idea of suddenly shifting gears professionally may seem scary, it could be exactly what you need. Staying in the same line of work because you’re wary of making a change even though you’re mentally and physically exhausted is not ideal.
There’s no getting around the fact that taking up a new profession can be difficult, but the tips below should at least make the transition more manageable.
Don’t Shy Away from Networking
There are steps you need to take prior to handing in your resignation if you want to change jobs and one of those is networking.
According to entrepreneur Vlad Rigenco, networking is something you have to do if you want to grow your business, which makes a ton of sense. You typically have to start somewhere small if you’re an entrepreneur and that means that the early growth of your business depends on your marketing efforts.
Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t talk about your business.
That piece of advice from Vlad Rigenco is something you should still take to heart even if you have no plans of becoming an entrepreneur.
Networking allows you to form connections with other professionals; and who knows, the people you get to know may be instrumental in helping you gain entry into your desired field. Asking someone you know who’s in your target industry for a job right away is not advisable, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking some insight that could prove beneficial down the line.
In an ideal world, you will land a position in your target industry as soon as you leave your current job. However, things don’t always play out that way.
There’s a decent chance that you will remain unemployed for a while if you decide to change careers, but don’t let that dissuade you from pursuing your dream job.
The key here is to save money so that you can feel comfortable resigning from your current position while also taking the time needed to find the career that’s best for you. This article from Discover notes that saving up enough money to cover six months of expenses should be enough, but try to aim for a year’s worth if you can.
Saving money in general is always a good habit, but it’s a must if you want to escape the doldrums of your current line of work.
Figure Out What Career You Want to Pursue
Change, as they say, is constant. The job you always dreamed of having when you were a kid may not be something you enjoy as an adult.
It’s okay to change your mind, but before you resign, you should at least have a clear idea of what you want to do next.
To identify what career will suit you best, you can try consulting with a career coach. As noted by The Muse, a career coach can get to the heart of why you grew dissatisfied with your old job and also help you determine what you want to do next.
You can also try to take part in some self-assessment by using some tools recommended in this Harvard article. Those self-assessment tools can evaluate different facets of your personality and help you better understand what it is you should be doing.
Research the Industry
You must also take the time to research the industry you are thinking about joining.
Most job markets are very crowded these days. Plenty of qualified workers are passed over for jobs every day because the industry they want to get into doesn’t have many vacancies at the moment.
Be realistic with your assessment of the industry and if the timing is not right for you to enter it, you should consider other options in the meantime.
Do other things so that you are better equipped to make the transition in the future.
Take Up Classes or a Side Job
Speaking of doing other things that will prepare you better for a future career change, you can dip your toe into your preferred industry by starting out with a side job. The experience you gain from doing so may turn out to be incredibly valuable once it comes time for you to send in a formal job application.
You can also try taking up some classes that are relevant to your dream job. If your current skillset is not ideally suited just yet for the career you want, then supplemental classes should help change that.
Changing careers as an adult is not without risk, but sometimes, you simply have to take that chance if you want to achieve your goals. Give yourself better odds of succeeding by following the tips mentioned above.