Career changes have become commonplace. No longer do people feel that they have to tough it out in a job they dislike until retirement finally arrives; instead, people of all ages are willing to walk away from their established career, and do something that genuinely interests them instead.
If you have made the decision that you, too, believe a change of career is necessary for your own professional development, here is an overview of what you’ll need to do to realize this goal.
Research your New Field
When you have set your mind on a different career, you’ll need to accumulate as much information as you possibly can about the job you are interested in. You’ll need to know if you require any additional qualifications or experience, as well as what you can realistically expect in terms of salary in any future role.
Check the Local Job Opportunities
It’s also important to research the numbers of jobs available close to your home, and this should be done before you give notice on your existing career or start retraining or accruing experience. Many industries tend to cluster in certain cities or areas and are less common elsewhere, so research to see if the kind of jobs you hope to apply for after changing career are available to you.
If you find the opportunities are relatively scarce in your local area, then that doesn’t mean that you can’t still pursue that career at all. It is just important to be aware that you may need to relocate in the future, so you can make all decisions with this potential necessity in mind.
Try to Gain Qualifications and/or Experience while continuing in your Existing Job
If you, as is common, need to gain additional qualifications in order to move to the career of your choice, then you may find that remaining in your existing day job is preferable while you do this. Thanks to the flexibility offered by options such as online accredited MBA programs and similar qualifications available in other fields, you can study around your existing schedule and enjoy the reassurance of continuing to draw a salary from your existing job while you do so.
If it is experience, rather than qualifications, that you need then look at volunteer options that are applicable to your preferred field, and try to fit these around your existing commitments.
Start Networking as Soon as Possible
Even if you are not quite ready to make the switch to your new career, it is still worth networking within your new chosen field as much as possible. Join online forums, go to conferences, seek connections and introductions to recruiters who specialise in the field, and essentially show your interest. These efforts should be beneficial when you start making applications for roles.
Career changes are rarely instantaneous - they require planning and a transitional period in order to be completed successfully. However, the above advice should help you to plan your change of career so that you can start the journey towards a more fulfilling and enjoyable occupation in the future.
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