There are a lot of reasons for which you could decide, one day, a career change is in order. Maybe genuinely don’t like your job, or your boss is no longer the person he or she once was and you feel it’s time to part ways. Or, maybe you want something new and more challenging, to help you evolve. But, before you make such an important change like this, you need to prepare for a few things.
Job or Industry Change
Let’s say you are an engineer. Did you realize you’ve always wanted to be a journalist and are looking for a job in that industry, or do you want to work in another engineering field? Better yet, are you sure you’re not just bored with your current project? A career change is difficult and can have serious consequences if you end up turning back halfway along the road.
There are a lot of people who, out of necessity or any other reason, took the first job they could when they got out the college doors and have now realized they were always meant for something else. However, sometimes an unsuccessful project, boredom, or anger with someone or something at your current job, can make you take rash decisions. The first step is to take a step back and look carefully: are you fully committed to this change?
Pick a Destination
If the answer to the above questions is yes, the next question is where do you go? What job would best suit you next? Some people spend a lifetime finding that out, so don’t worry if you don’t have a definite answer off the bat. Everyone has a skill they can build a career around; you just need to find yours.
Attend a few events, related to different industries, and participate in a few workshops. Go to job fairs and talk to the representatives of the companies who are there. They will be more than willing to tell you what their current employees do and where you would fit as a new employee, as well as what opportunities offers a career in the industry they operate in. Even if you don’t find something at first, at least you’ll find things you don’t like.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to quit your current job in order to make a career change. You could, just as well, become a freelancer, or pursue your passions from a collaboration basis. For instance, if you have a great desire to teach, you could opt for an English professor position at a private language institute, thus allowing you the flexibility to create your own schedule.
Another alternative is to join a start-up business. Apart from the fact that there is a very good chance you will find others with the same desire for change, working in a start-up will give you the satisfaction of helping build something from the ground up. Maybe that’s what you were lacking. Even if you couldn’t pinpoint the skills you have up to this point, just being a hard, serious worker can get you in, during which you may just find out exactly what you’re made for.
Of course, you could just go ahead and start your own company. If you’ve always had ideas and never got to see them fully bear fruit because someone higher didn’t agree with you, maybe it’s your entrepreneurial skills you should be looking at.
Know When to Quit
This one is entirely up to you and is heavily influenced by how well off you are. Can you afford one or two months without pay? Then go for it, and use those months to find yourself. Not affording it or having a family to take care of can make things a bit more difficult, and you should keep your current job as long as possible. You may take longer to decide what changes you need to make in your life, but it definitely makes things much easier along the way, since you will have people to motivate you.
Build a Great Online Presence
Have you googled yourself yet? Then do it. See what comes up and start brushing up all of your social media accounts. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, make one, and start connecting with people from your current workplace, the higher, and the better.
Even if you make a radical change, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can take advantage of the connections you’ve built and the people you’ve impressed. Get letters of recommendation from important people in your company and build the most awesome resume, which will show you can be a professional wherever and whatever you work.