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How to Prepare for a Career Change

Career change is one of the biggest steps people have to make in their professional life. It can be exciting and terrifying at the same time.

You have probably considered jumping to another career at some point in your life; when you get frustrated with your work, when you check your finances and realize that you need to earn more, when you find a new passion or interest and considering to incorporate it into your job, or when your career values and career goals have changed.

If you are ready to take the big leap, you need to prepare for the transition. Like what Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So, here are some steps that will help you increase the chances of success in your new career.

1. Decide if you really need a career makeover.

Think carefully if you really need a new career before you look for a new job. You need to evaluate your satisfaction in your current job. Are you are not excited about coming to work every day? Do you think that you are you are not growing in your career? What are your likes and dislikes in your current job and company?

There are also some ways to tell if you need to change your career. Here are some:

  • If you feel that your job is toxic because you are emotionally, mentally, and physically depleted.
  • If your salary could not compensate for your stress or boredom at work.
  • If you feel that you could use your talent and skills in other meaningful way.
  • If you feel that your tasks and responsibilities are not in your career values.

2. Evaluate yourself.

You need to assess your skills, values, interests, and personality. This is to determine if those are being addressed in your current job and it if they will be addressed to your next career. Evaluating yourself will help you find your own identity; who you are and what can be your contribution in the society. This will also help you make better career decisions and will help you decide how you will switch to your new career.

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3. Identify alternative careers

Now that you have evaluated yourself, the next step you need to do is to brainstorm and make a list of career alternatives by researching. You might come up with a long list, but you need to narrow it down between seven to ten occupations.

Here are some tips when searching for alternative careers:

  • The wisest decision you can do is not to quit your current job while you explore for an alternative career.
  • Learn new skills that are related or useful to the new career path you want to take.
  • Work on the transferable skills (leadership, communication, listening, analytical, creativity, critical thinking, and technical) that you have that your career of choice is looking for.
  • Work on a part-time job or freelance work that is related to the career you are transferring to.
  • If you are still deciding what career you want to take next, search for people who had the same job title you have at the moment and what career or position they are in at the moment.

4. Set your goals and deadlines.

One reason why most people are delaying their career change is because they are not prepared and they do not set a deadline. For you to have a successful career change, you need to set goals and set a deadline for each goal.

For example, a year from now I want to be a photographer and editor. I will enroll in photography classes and take online courses about editing photos. In nine months’ time, I will launch my own photography blog with the hope of finding clients and earn from them. Once my photography business is generating profit, I can finally quit my job and focus on my photography business.

5. Building a network.

Transitioning to a new career is easy when you have already built your connection. Your connections should be in the same field of the career you are planning to switch to. The people in your connection will help you enter the field and land you a job in your chosen career.

Building your network has a lot of benefits:

  • Not only others can help you with your career goals, but you can also help them with their career goals and build their connections as well.
  • If you have a lot of connections, you will stand out from the crowd and become more visible.
  • There will also be more open doors to new opportunities because there are chances that you will be meeting important people in your chosen industry.

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About The Author

Esther B.

Esther B.

Esther is a writer whose work focuses on career and personal development. She has also been YourTango’s Expert Partner where she wrote articles mostly for women to encourage them to have a meaningful life and healthier relationships. Her articles were constantly in YourTango’s weekly top ten for highest number of page views and her works have been featured in MSN and POPSUGAR. She also has almost 8 years of experience working for top publishing companies (Wiley and Cengage Learning) helping authors publish their books and research papers. When she is not on the computer, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen busy looking for snacks to eat.