Feeling a little stuck within your existing job? You may have found yourself at crossroads and need to decide between staying in your current field or jumping to another. Thinking to take that leap of faith and pursue your lifelong dream which you have put on hold for many years? Whether to be an event planner, an interior designer, a doctor or even to open up your first restaurant; perhaps it is the time for a major career transition.
Don’t worry, you are not alone- 30% of employees in the market are already doing the same, according to Career Change Statistics. Are you ready to take that exhilarating jump? Before you do, recognise that career transition will require courage and an extensive amount of planning. Here are some useful tips to ensure you’re making the right steps towards a successful career change:
1. Make Sure That It Is For The Right Reasons
To properly execute your plan, you need to look deep into yourself and reevaluate your reasons for changing your career. Are you switching because you had to deal with a micromanager or unpleasant coworkers? Or are you facing a significant hurdle due to misalignment between your job’s interest and the industry’s expectations? Whether to earn more, achieve better status or obtain career security, having a career transition should be born out of the search for happiness, freedom, and flexibility, not out of dislikes.
2. Reassess Your Skill Sets
Each of us particularly excels at a certain task or has an interest, personality or values that align with a job requirement. If you are unsure, there are self-assessment tools or career tests available online that can help you identify a list of occupations suitable for you. Also, take note of areas that you may be lacking and need additional work to fill up the gaps. Sign up for additional educational courses if you must complement the skillset you already possess.
3. Explore a List of Possible Options
To do research, research, and more research! Nothing denotes more importance than doing your homework. From the results generated via your self-assessment tool, compile a list of 5-10 occupations complete with their descriptions, opportunities, and potential earnings. Then, search through job listings within multiple websites that match your requirements. Even if temporary offers, short-term contract employments or even internship come to you – don’t downright turn them down! Who knows, they can be your doors to your desired opportunities.
4. Speak To Your Network
Having kept in touch with your network gained is one of your most valuable takeaways during your existing line of work. Your ex-managers, colleagues, clients or even close partners can help you tremendously by sharing their experiences with you. Start this explorative journey within this learning stage by immersing yourself in informational conversations and brainstorming ideas. Throw yourself into a volunteer project if required to test the waters and see what you get back or who you’ll get to know within the industry in return.
5. Update Your Resume
Deemed as your passport to make that transition happen – when was the last time your resume is up-to-date with your latest experiences? It’s time to get back to refurbishing it! Begin customising your resume to tailor it to different companies and most importantly -use keywords, especially if you are applying online as recruiters use applicant-tracking systems to filter resumes.
6. Be Prepared Financially
Is your wallet ready for the career change? Upon entering your new career, there may be a likelihood that you’ll witness a considerable drop in your income. At this stage, you need to carefully monitor your expenses and reduce unnecessary spending. It is ideal to prepare your savings that can withstand from 6 to 12 months of living without being employed while you concentrate on making the transition. If necessary, engage a financial advisor to get a professional opinion on how to better manage your finances at the moment in time.
7. Create A Career Plan And Stick To It
Last but not least, have the guts to stick to your plan! As the saying goes, “a goal without a plan is just a dream.” Now that you have your finalise your career options, start establishing short term goals and long terms that will enable a smooth transition. Do not type them out in a computer – write them down on paper or journal instead! It is proven that according to a psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, more than 70% of participants who wrote down their goals successfully achieved them, compared to the other 30%.
Keep in mind that a successful transition doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a substantial amount of time for you to get settled in. The key to staying on course and not get deviated? Celebrate every wins that happen along the way, no matter how small they are! These wins will get you motivated and remind you why you initially made that jump.
Always monitor your progress and remember, the better you feel about your progress – the more effort and dedication you’ll invest in making your ultimate career dream a reality.
All the best of luck! And if you are truly ready to make that jump, why not start here.