Making the Switch – 5 Tips for Changing Careers

Maybe you’re bored with your current job or you have just started to lose interest in it. Perhaps you’re looking for a job where you can make a difference in someone’s life or you want a job that allows you a more flexible schedule. It’s very common for people to want to change careers or industries at some point in their lives. But, changing careers can be nerve-racking. To help relieve anxiety and frustration, follow these tips to make your career change a smooth transition.

Evaluate your current situation: What’s your reason for wanting to switch careers? Are you looking for a more challenging job? Or, are you just looking to get a better paycheck? Whatever your reasoning, before making a change, be aware of what is at stake and what you have to gain from a career move. Determine if your reasons for leaving could easily be solved. If you’re bored, talk with your boss to see if you can take on some more interesting projects. If you don’t think there’s growth opportunity at your current job, ask about career pathing to make sure you know your options. Then, if you’re still ready to move on, research the industry. If the benefits outweigh the negatives, it may be a good time to move on.

Researching new careers: Researching careers is a very crucial part of deciding to change careers because it will help you understand the ins and outs of your chosen field, and also help you realize what you’re getting into. Before making this important decision, find out everything you can about your desired career move. Things to find out include; salary range information, job opportunities in your area, and working conditions. If you don’t want to relocate, you want to make sure your area has growth opportunity for the industry you’re interested in. You can also check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for more career information. Doing research ahead of time will prepare you for what to expect and help prevent any unwanted surprises after you enter your new industry.

Get the training you need: Be aware that a career change may require you to get additional training. The training may require just taking a few classes by getting a brand new degree. It’s important to always seek new ways to grow your knowledge and skill set when it comes to today’s job market. This will make you more competitive, as well as an overall better employee.

Network with industry leaders: The people you network with may be able to give you job offers or advice. Find out about the networking organizations and associations relating to your industry and get involved. Seek out individuals who are experts in the field you want to go into. And, talking with people in your field of interest could help you decide if it is something you’re really interested in.

Find a mentor: Mentoring is important for most professions, but it’s especially important when you are new to a profession. A mentor will serve as a guide and will offer you the direction and coaching you need when first starting out. You can shadow them to learn the ropes of your new job or just gain insight into what you want to do in a career. A mentor can be a great resource of information for any questions you might have. Find someone who has experience in the field you are looking to enter. It can be anyone from a boss to a co-worker to a former professor.

Changing careers can help you to learn new things and expand your skills. But it’s also a big decision and one that can be scary. It is important to take your time to carefully think about your choices and what you want to do. The extra time and research will help you to find the job you really enjoy.

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