Whether you are deciding to change careers early on or you have been in your current position for quite some time, the change can be difficult and terrifying. You might feel like you are starting over or that you won’t make as much money. And your current job might make you feel burned out, so you might not know if you have enough energy to begin something else. The good news is that there are several steps that will help you out along the way.
Consider Getting a Relevant Degree
Depending on what field you are entering, getting another degree can be extremely helpful. For example, if you have worked in the sales department but wish to switch to accounting, you will likely need to get a graduate degree. If paying for your degree sounds challenging, you can take out a student loan from a private lender to complete school and make yourself more marketable.
Come Up with Ideas
You don’t have to be a college student to benefit from the services of a career counselor. There are more jobs available now than in the past, so you have several options, including becoming a business owner. And since there are so many options, it can seem overwhelming at times. A career counselor can help you discover what you are good at, and they might have certain contacts. While coming up with ideas, you might want to list out your skills and values. You might have gotten other skills besides the ones gained at your main employment.
For example, if you volunteer, you could have gained other professional skills. You can then use this list to consider the job opportunities that might be the best for you. Remember, you might not have to have experience in order to switch careers. You will likely find that several skills, both soft and hard ones, will transfer over well to your new job. And getting a degree can help you gain the other ones you will need to be successful.
Learning More About Other Options
If you are thinking about switching careers, it’s easy to freeze up instead of taking the necessary action. Instead of focusing on the large transition of switching careers, focus on the steps and take them one at a time. For example, starting your career in interior design after having been an accountant is not going to just happen by quitting one job Friday and starting this new career Monday, so take a beat.
And freezing up or having analysis paralysis won’t lead to any positive change, so it’s time to at least test the waters. You might look for freelancing or volunteer opportunists in your new area so you can determine if this is something you really love. Or you could take a seminar or join an industry group. These steps can lead to networking opportunities as well, since you will be working with those who are already in the industry.
Or perhaps you already know someone in this field. You might see if you could spend a day shadowing them. Network with others already in this field. You might decide to ask them what their thoughts are on their job and what you could expect in a similar role. Doing this also leads to some contacts that can help you find a better job sooner.