There are many reasons why you might find yourself wanting a career change. Perhaps you hate your job or you feel you have gone as far as you can in the industry you’re currently in; perhaps you just got laid off and you’re having trouble finding work. Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to change career paths entirely. However, switching careers can be a long and arduous process, so it’s important that you keep your present occupation for as long as possible, or that you have enough wealth accumulated through your savings and severance package to survive the job search. Follow these six tips to find a new career that is tailored to your needs and ambitions.
Determine your needs
The first thing you must do when trying to find a new career is establish exactly what you require from an occupation. You should consider your professional interests, of course, but it’s also important that you take your personal obligations into account too, especially if you have dependents. After all, a career isn’t built in a vacuum and you wouldn’t want to get your dream job at the cost of your family. Weigh the pros and cons of your current profession, and try to figure out what needs to change and what needs to stay the same.
Identify your known skills
No experience is ever truly lost in the professional world, even when you’re trying to find a new career. Over the years, you have likely acquired specialized knowledge applicable to a number of industries. This includes leadership strategies, time management techniques and proficiency with computer software. To determine your transferable skills, it’s important that you look beyond your official job description. Go through all your past occupations, including volunteer positions, and pinpoint every task that isn’t specific to your current field. Make sure to write this information down; you’ll need it for your resume.
Identify your hidden aptitudes
Just as no single sport can take full advantage of every muscle in your body, no occupation can make use of all your natural abilities. Regardless of how long you have been in the workforce, chances are you have undiscovered professional potential. Taking an aptitude test can help you uncover your hidden talents and find a new career that you never would have considered otherwise. However, it’s crucial that you answer every question honestly. Your objective isn’t to flatter your own ego, but to pinpoint a profession that will sustain you for years to come.
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Explore the options that interest you
Once you have figured out what your marketable skills are, then it’s time to look at potential occupations, which can be surprisingly difficult. Too many options can sometimes feel like none at all, especially when you’re trying to find a new career as well as job satisfaction. Naturally, you should start with the professions that excite you the most, but be realistic in your approach. The world is full of jobs that you can’t apply for without considerable experience, so make sure to research the industry as a whole and always consider whether or not you can deal with an entry-level position.
Explore the options available
Don’t limit yourself to pipe dreams and popular fields, which are often oversaturated. You have to be practical and consider your odds of getting work. After all, it’s not really your profession until somebody actually hires you. Besides, the occupation best suited to your needs may not be the one most people fantasize about, which is why you should always keep an open mind when trying to find a new career. The best way to learn about job prospects in any given industry is through contacts, but you can also consult a recruitment agency.
Too many workers make the mistake of rushing into things when they find a new career, confusing a go-getter attitude with recklessness. As a result, they end up wasting years drifting from one vocation to the next, which is why you should always test the waters before committing to a new career plan. If the profession you have selected requires extensive studies, we would recommend that you attend a few night classes to make sure this is the right path for you. You can also apply for an internship or take a volunteer position in your chosen field.
Choose the right path
These six recommendations will help you weigh your options and find a new career, but selecting the right occupation is only half the work. If you want to be successful on this new path, it’s crucial that you establish a long-term plan, setting concrete goals for yourself as well as a realistic time frame to achieve them. Don’t let the challenges ahead discourage you or blind you to the fact that you’re improving your professional life and embarking on a new career.
6 Steps to a New Career Provided by AskMen.