How to…change careers
There are many reasons that people seek a shift in careers. Most of us were told by our parents, family, and friends that a certain career or job was the best thing for us. Much like a pair of new shoes, these ideas were dangled before us by those who truly believed they knew who we were.
However, the age-old paradigm of “if the shoe fits, wear it” especially applies to getting the career that you feel most passionate about. Think about it. If a pair of shoes hurt your feet and give you blisters, would you want to wear them? Why should your career be any different?
Below are some points to consider before you change careers:
1. Think before you try.
Let’s say that you have spent a lifetime working in retail but you’d like to become an accountant. Consider what you need to know. You would most likely need to have an excellent eye for detail, know a lot of math, and be willing to work with numbers. For someone who is accustomed to working around the public, you would also have to get used to the idea of pretty much flying solo.
2. Know what would be expected of you in another position or career.
Ask yourself the following: Can I work alone, or do I do better with more supervision? What are my talents/skill sets? In this case, it never hurts to do a little harmless homework. Find out if you need further training, certification, or a degree to get into the new field of your choice.
3. Don’t just go look for a job to replace the one you already have.
We’re not saying don’t try and check out jobs in the field you’re interested in. However, don’t just seek a job.
One of the best ways to figure out what you like to do is to take time to volunteer.
The best way to find a good career is by simply donating your most valuable asset: your time.
When volunteering, treat it as though it were a regular job. Be on time and be a good worker. And don’t just be a good worker, but be a sparkling good worker. Once the boss sees how well you excel, you’ve won yourself a new supporter
Then you not only have a reference (and a possible mentor) but you also have an idea of what your new life would look and feel like in a different career.
4. It’s not about money or status.
It’s what you love to do for a living that matters, not your status or how much money you make. Once you’ve found something you are passionate about, it’s like you’ve won the lottery.
That said, it’s time to stop hitting the snooze button and start acting on your newfound desire for something different in your life!
One final note…
It is going to be financially bumpy for a while. That is normal and something to start planning for now, before you make any big changes to your life. But it may also motivate you to work more, dig deep and find self-discipline you didn’t know you had. Update your resume, and go to it.