6 Tips for a Successful Career Change
Career choice is an important decision. It has a direct effect on the quality of life we lead, our well-being, happiness etc. Therefore, it is very important to choose a career that is in line with our interests and maximises our strengths. It is for this reason that Career counselling centres abound in cities. These days one can also avail online career counselling sessions for guidance and advice.
Yet there are a lot of people who hate their jobs and are unsuccessful. Many of them decide to switch jobs or even industry after spending a precious few years of their life. Switching careers can be overwhelming and stressful. It involves some risk too. What if you start hating the new role too after a few years? All these efforts would go waste. What if you have to start afresh like a fresher? It is common for these doubts to race through the minds of anyone planning a career change. A career change, isn’t such a bad thing though. With a bit of forethought and planning, one can have a smooth transition into a career they love and enjoy. Here are some tips from experts that will benefit anyone planning a career change:
- Decide what you want – Before you start thinking about an entire career change. Know and understand where stand and what you feel. Why do you need a career change? You hate your job? Why do you hate your job? Is it the bad boss, colleagues or that you don’t like what you are doing. If you simple hate your job because of the people or the organization, it’s probably that you just need to switch jobs or join a better organization rather than an entire career change. Take stock of your successes, failures, likes and dislikes before you start thinking on those lines.
- Assess your Skills – If you’ve decided that a career change is the right thing for you, you need to begin by assessing your skills, strengths, skills that you utilized in your current role and ones that you have acquired through experience. Make a note of all of these. Also, note down the transferable skills that you feel might help you in your future career. For instance, there are a lot of skills like time management, people management, communication, team handling etc. that are useful in almost every profession. It will help you when you draft your resume for your new role.
- Research potential career choices – If you’ve made up your mind about a career change, you probably have some idea about what you want to do, your aspirations etc. Identify potential career options that might be suitable for you based on your interest or your strengths if you aren’t entirely clear on where you want to go. There are self-assessment tests online that you can take. These tests are designed in a way that generate a list of occupations based on your answers to the questions. Make a note of all the probable choices and narrow down your choices based on your situation. For instance, you may decide a particular career may require you to get an advanced degree and you are not willing to invest time and energy into it. Find out the requirements or the eligibility for each career path and highlight the ones that match your candidature.
- Take Professional Help – If you are still confused with the options or in the dark about how to go about it further, you can take help from career counsellors as well. Book yourself for online career counselling sessions. They have the necessary tools and techniques to understand your personality and identify the right career choice. They even offer advice on how to apply for jobs, skills required etc.
- Meet the right people – By now you would have filtered few options that match your skills. You’ve done your research. Now it’s time to get first-hand information from people who are in similar professions. It could be anyone from your friends, acquaintance, past colleagues etc. Ask them about their professional life, get inputs about their job roles, responsibilities etc.
- Make an Action Plan – You have done your homework, spoken to the relevant people and have zeroed down on your choice of career. It’s time to act now. Make an action plan on how you plan to go about things. For instance, do you need to take up any course or training for your new role? How do you plan to look for jobs in your chosen field, applications, things you need to wrap up in your current job, resignation, etc.? Have a plan in place with answers to all of the above.
Career change isn’t easy. It takes time and can get stressful. That is why it is important to have a goal in mind. Monitor and track your efforts. Take small steps every single day and one day you will wake up to a successful career that you thrive in and enjoy.