If you are considering a major job change—particularly in the middle of your career—it is best if you have a solid plan. Seven ways you can get a complete change in professions without getting overwhelmed:
• Assess yourself.
Look deep within yourself to discover your likes and dislikes. Ask yourself why you want to change careers—is it because of your company or employer? Make your selection carefully by knowing the right reason for your desire for change. If you have a passion—follow your heart!
• Research options.
Don’t fail to do your homework on what it would take to change careers. Learn what your new business will provide you—more wages or higher self-satisfaction. Change is relative—some life changes represent bigger leaps than others. Check out some of the many websites and resources on skill assessments, they can help you realize what you need to prepare for your new career.
• Update and educate.
Any change in careers will require a new skillset. Depending on what profession you choose, many of your skills may be transferable, and may require a minimum of re-education. No matter what, use existing knowledge and improve your skill to keep up to date.
A new path will produce a new set of contacts—the time is now to start networking. Find people who are successful in your chosen profession; learn their tricks—and pitfalls to avoid—when starting on your new path.
• Gain experience.
A new career, at one time or another, means you will be starting at square one. Before you dive into an occupation, you may want to transition first. Perhaps an internship or part-time work in your new area will help you get the experience you need.
• Stick to the basics.
A new job search can be intimidating to a mid-career change. Do not forget the basics of the job hunt—an effective resume, references and interviewing skills are essential to anyone looking for work. Brush up with tutorials, or have a professional evaluate your job search skills.
• Flexibility is key.
The job market is a challenge—especially when changing paths mid-stream. Be flexible—about things like salary, working conditions or relocation, to name a few. Consider things like consulting or freelancing—you will be your own boss.