Is your current career no longer fulfilling you, but the prospect of changing your path in life seems daunting after years spent in one industry? Have a new career in mind, but don't know how to go about getting into it? Not sure what it would actually be like once you get there?
1. Talk to people already working in the industry you want to move into.
It's hard to know the reality of a career before you have actually worked in the field. People often have unrealistic fantasies about their dream jobs, and find themselves disappointed once they actually get into them.
For example, tons of people dream of making money online and working from home. When I tell people I work online a lot, I usually get comments like, “Wow! You get to stay in bed all day?” or “People actually pay you to write blog articles or advise them on their career via Skype?” as if I have the easiest job in the entire world. But, as someone who actually makes part of their living this way, I know the reality of my career is vastly different to what they are imagining.
In order to make a living wage, it's not uncommon to work hours much longer than what one would work at an office job. In fact, every other job I have ever had was easier than what I do at present (but as I love what I do). I do what I do because I am passionate about and good at it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I do like working from home. But if someone were to choose this career simply because they thought it was easy? Well, they would be in for a real surprise.
There is no better teacher than experience, so talk to someone who is already experienced in doing the kind of work you want to get into doing, before you begin the process of actually changing your career.
If you like what you hear, you can also use these people as contacts to start networking within your chosen new industry. Networking is, of course, one of the most important practices in hunting for any job.
2. Outline your transferable skills and start building on them.
Chances are, some of the skills you are using daily at your current job are also potentially useful in your new career. There are many “generic” skills (communication skills, leadership, planning, etc.) that are transferable and applicable to a wide range of careers. You should find out what your new employers will look for, and market your current skills accordingly.
You may find that you already have years of experience that applies to your new career. Similarly, if you need further education in a certain skill, and it's one that applies to your current job, you may be able to get your present place of work to pick up the tab for some courses that directly relate to your new field.
3. Get some experience of your own.
The final step to take before actually changing careers is to take a few courses that relate to the field you are going into, get a part time (or temp) job in that field, or do some volunteering. Only personal experience can fully solidify your decision to move into a new career; no matter what you have read or what anyone else tells you, at the end of the day, you have to judge what works for you on your own.
If you feel that you need a bit of support – get in touch here – so that we can discuss your needs.
© 2014 Human Resources Global Ltd.
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