Maybe you started out in a career you loved, but over time, you became less enamored of the field you worked in. Perhaps you never gave much thought to what you did for a living and just accepted a job, and now you want to be more deliberate about what you do with your life. Or maybe your circumstances have changed and the job you have is no longer suitable. You need more money, more time, or just a different lifestyle. Whatever the reason, career changing as an adult is not the anomaly it once was. In fact, these days it’s almost expected. It’s still a challenging move to make, but the tips below can help you.
Consider Your Options
If you finally know what you want to be when you grow up, you can skip this part, but for most people considering a career change, they only have vague ideas or know what they don’t want to do but not what they do want. There are a few ways to explore various potential paths, such as meeting with a career counselor, but one thing you should really ask yourself is what you want your day-to-day work life to be like. In some cases, the answer to this question can be more revealing than thinking in terms of the actual career. Think about what you like and dislike about your current job and such things as whether you want to be working alone or with others and indoors or outdoors.
Once you have settled on a few ideas for a new career path, it’s a good idea to do your research. Find out such things as how in-demand the position is, what the salary is, and what kind of education and experience you need. Especially if you plan to make a huge leap. If you’re hoping to work in a national park, and are currently in marketing, research is going to be critical. It might be possible to find out more about certain fields by following people who work in those fields on social media. You may want to arrange an informational interview with one or two people in the area that interests you or even to arrange to shadow someone for a day or two.
Make a Plan
Leaving a job that isn’t fulfilling you can feel like an escape, and that sense of an escape can actually prevent you from planning as diligently as you should. You might feel as though if you can just leave the career behind that isn’t working for you any longer and start on your new path, everything will work out, but it would be a mistake to leave it all to chance in this way. Do your homework. Set short and long-term goals. Make a plan that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be. In addition, you may want to talk to your family and get them on board, especially if the change is going to affect them.
Education and Training
For some career changes, it will be either advisable or necessary to go back to school. You may need to get a bachelor’s degree for the first time or a second bachelor’s. If this is the case, you shouldn’t see the cost of tuition as a barrier to seeking the job you really want. There are many different ways to pay for college, including taking out Earnest private student loans. These can supplement other sources of funding or may cover all of your costs. For other positions, you may be able to train on the job. It might also be sufficient to seek certifications rather than having to pursue a new degree. On the other hand, for some career changes, graduate school might be necessary.
Your Resume and Connections
If you’re really starting all over again in a new industry, it can feel daunting, especially if you have to go back to an entry-level position after being successful in another field. In some areas, it may be possible to use some of the experience from your previous job or connections that you have made to bypass these types of positions, but in some industries, it will be necessary to work your way up through them just as you did in your previous career. Be sure that you work hard on your resume to include all relevant experience whether it is from your past jobs or your new endeavor.