When You’re Ready to Change Careers

by Teneyia Wilson
When You’re Ready to Change Careers

Mondays don’t suck, you’re just doing it wrong! Work is a huge part of our lives. Nearly 30% of our lifetime is spent working. If you don’t like your job, you’re probably spending most of that time unhappy and unmotivated. Life is too short to spend that much time unhappy, but what are we to do when we have financial responsibilities and families to take care of? A lot of people think a change in careers, but they’re just not sure how to do it.

A career change can be scary. It’s hard stepping out of our comfort zone. It’s risky because you can apply to many jobs and sit for plenty of interviews without getting a single offer. The good news is no matter where you are in life or how old you may be, it is possible to start over doing what you love. The first thing you should do is think about what it is you want to do. Why you want to do it, what skills and knowledge do you need, and are you willing to relocate or go back to school are other factors to consider.

Plan It Out

Creating a simple plan can help you carve out the path you’ll need to take and show you an approximate timeline of transition. It should include actions that will be taken but kept simple enough to prevent analysis paralysis. Be careful not to overthink and over plan or you’ll end up taking no action at all. During your planning, look back over your current and past roles. Take note of what you like and dislike. What would you change?  What are your short- term and long-term goals? And if you’re wanting to stay in your current industry but change roles or if you want to transition into a completely different industry. The answers to these questions can help you feel more confident in your decision of which company or industry to choose as well as prevent you from getting back into the same situation of feeling stuck in a career that you don’t want.

Begin Job Search

Once you’ve finished planning, do a job search on a career site such as Indeed or LinkedIn. Browse to see what is in demand for the role you want. Research what companies are looking for as far as skills, knowledge, and work experience. Write down the skills and experience you currently have to see how they can transfer into the new role. Be prepared to explain your experience and background in relation to what companies are posting in the requirements and qualification sections. The biggest factor to making a successful transition is selling yourself properly. Your resume should paint a picture of your past accomplishments and how your organization, team, and customers were positively affected.

Embrace Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

What if you’re an entrepreneur at heart and don’t want to transition from one 9-to-5 to another? The research and planning will be different, but the process is the same – plan and execute. Instead of researching what companies are looking for in employees, you’ll research business components, how to sell and build relationships with customers, and legal obligations in your area. Instead of researching skills required, daily tasks or company reviews, you’ll research your product or service in reference to what your target market wants, pricing models you can implement, tools you made need to produce and how to network with other businesses.

No matter which direction you transition, the most important thing to do is take small steps forward daily. You don’t have to have everything planned out in the beginning. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to decided that you will stay consistent. Only worry about what you can control, and you will ask for help when needed. Good luck!

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