How to change careers.

Have you ever wanted to change careers?

Maybe your career field is changing and you don’t find it satisfying anymore. Maybe you’d like to explore a direction you’ve always thought about. Maybe life circumstances demand a change in your career, Whatever the reason, change can be exciting, daunting, and challenging. It might work out, it might not, but you’ll never know if you don’t at least explore the idea.

How do you explore the idea of a career change while minimizing of a mistake?

Embrace the idea of change.
Change itself can be a terrifying concept. As much as you want something different, craving the safety of the familiar is a natural emotion. Spend some time actually imagining your life in a different way. While it’s important to dream big, keeping your dreams realistic is important, as well.

Assess your talents.
While it may be wildly exciting to think about a certain career, you will have much more chance of a successful transition if you align your goals where your interests meet your talents. There are a multitude of online skill and talent assessment tools. Try them out. You may be surprised to find you have natural talents in areas you haven’t considered.

Use your network.
Talking to someone who is already in the field you’re considering can be very valuable. They can give you a realistic view of what is involved to get and be in careers and jobs in your area of interest. They can help connect you to people and organizations. They may point you to ideas you hadn’t even considered.

Don’t be afraid to learn new things.
It may seem obvious, but many people get stuck in their lives and careers because they don’t know what they need know to make a new career field happen. Just because you don’t have the education or certifications you’ll need yet doesn’t mean you can’t acquire them. If you don’t know where to start learning, cruise online job boards for your chosen field, and see what employers want.

Be a lifelong learner. Take a class, a workshop, read as much as you can. You may find that you no longer want to move in a particular direction, and that’s okay. Learning something new is never a waste of time, and it may make you more open to another direction that is right for you!

Volunteer.
Volunteering is a great way to not only make valuable contributions, but to try out new career areas. There are as many ways to volunteer as there are interests and career fields.

Are you interested in teaching? Consider volunteering as a mentor or tutor. Are you interested in the medical field? Consider volunteering as an aide at a local hospital, or give your time to a hospice. Volunteering can also help you develop a network in your chosen field.

Break big changes into smaller changes.
If you have a hard time with change in your life, you’ll probably benefit from planning big changes so that they are a series of steps, rather than one huge leap. No one wakes up as an accountant one day and becomes a marine biologist the next.

Putting your goals in writing will help you keep on track and moving forward.Create an end-goal and devise a path to your goal. For instance, if your goal would require additional education or certifications, each of those would be steps toward your goal.

Change your definition of failure.
Don’t consider it a failure if you explore a change and it doesn’t work out. Instead consider it a successful exploration of an idea that wasn’t right for you or your life. Maybe your idea is better as a hobby than a career. That’s okay! No matter what, you’ll have learned new things, and most importantly, you will have learned more about what it takes to make a career change happen.


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How to change careers.