Seriously thinking about changing careers...but afraid of doing what it takes to make it happen?
I know just how daunting changing careers can seem - particularly if you´re not really sure how or where to begin.
It´s also a move that has the potential to bring greater joy, more fulfillment, and an increased sense of satisfaction into your life. In fact, it can completely change the way you look at the world around you!
And you know what the best thing is?!
Changing careers may not be as difficult as you think it is
...if you know exactly what to do to make it happen, that is.
To help you along, I´ve put together 7 success steps for changing careers that I've found really and truly do work.
It just isn't enough to dislike what you´re doing now. You also need to know what it is you really want.
You have to get clear on what motivates, inspires, and excites you when it comes to work. You have to know what kinds of tasks and challenges energize you. You need to be able to identify your interests and your passions.
Once you know all of these, identifying the direction you need to take is that much easier.
Think about keeping a journal where you write down your reactions and feelings about work each day. What do you see as the highlights? What things about your current job get you down? Look for recurring themes.
The insights you jot down may give you an idea about your likes and dislikes with regard to work.
Use resources online to help you with this, too. With a little ingenuity (and the help of Google), you can find all kinds of career aptitude and interest tests.
Do you intensely dislike your present job? Do you feel like you've outgrown it on some level?
If so, it´s time to figure out WHY that is.
Getting clear on the WHY is important, because you don't want to go out and get yet another job that leads to the same sense of dissatisfaction you are feeling now.
If you think that your present job is not a good fit, ask yourself why before heading toward something new.
Then, take a minute to ask yourself some other “WHY questions” about any new career you are considering. Why do you want it? Why do you feel that it will make your life more fulfilling? Are there risks or downsides to the new career?
Asking yourself these questions might lead you to realize that changing careers isn't the right thing for you - at least not right now. Or it could make the prospect of changing careers that much more exciting and appealing.
Follow your vision. Believe in your goal. Believe you can do it...and at the same time, keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
Make sure that you are not looking at the prospect of changing careers through rose-colored glasses.
Look at your personal situation from every perspective. Keep your financial situation in mind. Listen and learn from others´experiences when they switched their careers.
What skills and strengths will your new career require? What do you need to do so you will be considered an attractive candidate for the job? Do you have to learn new skills? Do you have to take additional classes? Is certification a must?
You may find it fairly easy to acquire the knowledge or skills needed for your new job. You can take some online courses and gain the basic knowledge needed to get you started. Or you may decide to pursue a more extensive education and get certified in a specific area of expertise.
It all comes down to whether you want to invest the extra time, money and effort into making this career change possible.
Don't forget to look into any additional resources your career change may entail. Is your family on board about your plans? Will making the switch require you to spend less time on other activities or relationships? Can you get childcare support if necessary?
Do what's needed to keep your spirits up during the transition. Be patient. Avoid letting yourself feel discouraged if things don't move forward as quickly as you'd like. Stay committed to your vision and your ultimate goal.
Focus on your positive qualities, accomplishments, and experience. Keep an upbeat attitude. Show an air of youthfulness, enthusiasm, and energy.
Whenever necessary, reassure yourself that you will find an exciting career that will make the most of your interests, experience, and passion.
Develop a solid game plan. Do not allow the master plan to intimidate you. Break it down into small, easily achievable steps.
Start by reading about your new career interest. Consider enrolling in a night class or doing some work as a volunteer for an organization related to the career you are considering. You might even want to think about doing pro bono or consulting work for friends.
Bring your resume up to date so that it reflects your skills and highlights those that the new job requires. Then get out there and start your job search!
And don't forget to network! Look for people who are in the same industry or field that you are interested in. Reach out to them.
Cultivate your contacts. Attend networking events. Join professional organizations.
Tell your family, friends, and people you've worked with in the past that you are looking for a job. Using LinkedIn is another great way of connecting with organizations you are interested in.
Whatever you do, don't let fear stop you from changing careers if that is what you truly want to do. Follow the steps I´ve outlined for you here - small, deliberate, consistent steps and you will be well on your way to the brand-new career of your dreams. I guarantee it!
William Holt is the go-to coach and trainer for executive women wanting to transition to coaching as a way of sharing their professional expertise with the world. He is also the creator of the Holt Coaching Method as well as the founder and leader of the LinkedIn Group - Executive Women´s Growth Forum.
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