If you wake up every day with a feeling of dread tightening the pit of your stomach, knowing that you’ll have to spend another 8 hours doing a job you hate with people who don’t respect you, then it might be time to think about doing what’s best for you in the form of a career change.
A lot of people won’t even consider trying to make a change because they’re scared that they’ll fail or that their new path will be as bad as, or even worse than what they have now. Fear of the unknown holds them back and stops them from doing something that could have a truly positive impact on their life. Do you want to be like them? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life, dreading each day, working a job you hate, never truly fulfilling your dreams? No! You want to do better and be more, and really, there’s nothing to fear. Making a career change does take a leap of faith, but if you do it right, the chances of failure are slim, and still preferable to drudging along in the same role forever, right?
With that in mind, here are some great tips to help you implement a successful career change as soon as you can:
Believe it is Possible
The first step to implementing a successful career change is believing that it is actually something you can do. You need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. It may sound trite to say that you can do anything that you put your mind to, but for most people, this really is true, and all it takes is for you to take the first step and the rest will eventually fall into place. So, don’t do yourself down or think about all of the reasons why a career change isn’t possible; think positive, and the rest will follow – just you wait and see!
Think About What’s Wrong
The second step to implementing a successful career change is undoubtedly taking the time to sit down and really get to the bottom of why you hate your current career. Is it your bosses? The lack of progression? Do you find the work boring? Write down every single reason why you have fallen out of love with your current career path and this will help you, when you’re ready, to identify possible new careers that would suit you better.
Think About Your Skills and Interests
Once you’ve written down all of the problems with your existing career, take out another sheet of paper and use it to jot down all of the things you’re interested in and passionate about, as well as your core values and any skills you have. Rank these from most to least important and combined with your list of what’s wrong, You’ll have an excellent framework for determining a new career.
Find the Perfect Career
Okay, so this is a lot more difficult than it sounds, but if you want to change careers to improve your life, you’re obviously going to have to decide on a career that you’ll love. Start by brainstorming every conceivable career that sounds remotely interesting to you, and then use your lists above to weed out the ones that aren’t likely to be a great fit. You’ll need to do some research to really get to grips with what a particular career will entail, but it’ll be worth it when you can confidently choose a path that has none of the drawbacks of your current job and which tic ks a lot of boxes on your list of skills and interest.
Before you finally do settle on a new career path it is a good idea to research how in-demand roles in that field are because there’s little point trying to obtain a job in a certain niche if they are few and far between and you’ll be competing with lots of other people who already have experience. That being said, if it is your lifelong dream to be, say a writer or a programmer, then you shouldn’t necessarily let that put you off.
Try Job Shadowing
If you can arrange it, before you go any further, it may also be worth your while to try shadowing someone in the role you’re looking to work in when you change careers. This, more than anything else will give you a real feel for the job and a good idea whether it will really be a good move for you or not. Admittedly, it’s easier to do this when you’re fresh out of college, and you can easily snag an internship, but if you show a will to work and a real passion for the role, it isn’t impossible to have someone let you do this.
Often, a career change requires new qualifications. if that’s the case then, obviously, you are going to need to get those qualifications. This is, ideally, something you should do before quitting your current job, so that you can actually pay for classes and keep things going until you’re ready to move on. Luckily, it is now very easy to get an online mba or… well pretty much any qualification online, so it’s a lot easier to juggle education with work. Just make sure that you know exactly what the qualification requirements are for your chosen occupation in the area you plan to work before you throw your money down the drain on the wrong course.
You might be working as a nurse now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start networking with copywriters or engineers if that’s what you want to be in the future. In fact, it is very much in your interest to start networking with people who are already following the career path you plan to transition to because, as we all know, rightly or wrongly, it’s a lot easier to get your foot in the door as a candidate when you know the right people, and they’re willing to vouch for you.
Depending on the career you plan to transition to, you may be able to get your start by freelancing. Doing this alongside your normal job is a great way to get a feel for the work and make money doing it without having to fully commit. If you build up a good reputation amongst clients when the time comes that you decide to make the change permanent, you’ll have some great contacts, and some ready-made references to help you succeed as soon as possible.
Look for Roles in Your Industry
If you don’t hate everything about the industry that you currently work in – it’s just your current role that you don’t enjoy – it may be worth looking into other roles within your company. For example, if you currently work as a nurse, but you really want to be a writer, why not enquire about healthcare bid writing roles? Your current experience will give you an advantage, and you’ll find it easier to get the kind of work you really want to do as a result.
If you’re really serious about making a career change, you need to know right now that it probably won’t be easy. Chances are you’ll be going up against candidates who have already worked in the industry for several years, and they may seem like a better bet to the average employer. What that means is, you can’t expect to walk into the first job you apply for. It also means that you need to get tough and be determined. If it’s what you really want, you need to apply for as many positions as you can and be relentless about it. Eventually, you will get to where you want to be.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges
It’s not uncommon for people to decide they hate their job and go out in a blaze of glory telling their superiors exactly what they think about them and their company! It might be cathartic, but it certainly isn’t advisable because, even if you’re planning to enter a completely different sector than the one you’re currently working in, a reference from your previous employer is still going to come in pretty handy, and you never know when you might need to call on an old colleague for a favor. So, even if working for them has been a nightmare, hold it all in and part as amicably as you’re able – it’ll be worth it when you get a glowing reference that helps you progress in your newly chosen career.
Moving from one career to another, especially if they are radically different, is rarely a walk in the park, but you should take heart from the fact that people do it successfully every day, and many of them are able to finally realize their dreams and do what they truly love for a living. These tips will help you get there one day too!