Maybe you’ve lost interest in your current career, maybe you’re bored at work, or maybe you’ve found something else you want to do – there are a number of reasons why you might want to change your career.
If you find yourself in this situation, it might seem to you that making a career change is like trying to navigate an obstacle course – leaving you feeling incompetent and unsure of your next step. As daunting as a career change may seem, however, it may be one of the best moves you’ll ever make. And that’s why we’re giving you a few tips to make this move easier for you:
Follow these 3 tips for a successful career change:
1) Be prepared
The best way to ensure a successful career change is by doing the necessary prep work. This means identifying your new career path, and doing as much research as possible to make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
Search for relevant job ads online to see what skills, qualifications, and experience employers are looking for; speak to people who are currently working in the field you want to enter; and make sure you know what you’ll need to do to make a successful transition from your current career to your new one.
Keep in mind that you might have to study a course or go for specialised training to gain the skills and qualifications you need for your new career, and that you might have to take a pay cut and start out at a junior level in your new field. If this is the case, you’ll need to examine your budget and lifestyle to see whether you can (and want to) accommodate these changes. If you are the breadwinner in your family, you’ll also need to consult your family members to find out whether you’ll have their support.
Remember: a career change doesn’t usually happen overnight. It’s often a gradual process that requires determination, hard work, and commitment to a goal.
To help you be prepared, have a look at these5 questions to ask yourself when making a major life decision.
2) Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – you’ve probably seen this quote hundreds of times, but what does it really mean?
Your comfort zone is a state in which you feel at ease, in control, and familiar, with little or no anxiety. It’s comfortable because you know what to expect. Planning to change your career will require some adjustment from your side – but taking it step by step will help you ease into the transition. And you won’t grow professionally unless you are willing to stretch yourself by leaving your comfort zone.
Take a look at this “Comfort Zone Calculator”: www.whatismycomfortzone.com/survey/
3) Face your fears
By nature, people are afraid to fail. But failure offers you some of the best learning opportunities – even though it might not seem like it at the time. Failing teaches you valuable lessons about yourself and what you are capable of. It also teaches you that failing at something is not the end of the world. Face your fears. Do something that scares you. And if you fail, start again.
Changing your career is a big decision, which means that you should think about it carefully before you leap into action. Weigh up all the options – and their pros and cons – before making an informed decision.
Still not sure about your next career move? Speak to one of our Student Advisors – they will be able to guide you in the right direction!
(Note: This article was originally published on 14 January 2015 and has been updated for relevance and accuracy.)