Whenever you read a paper or watch the news, there is always more bad news about the economy or the job market. It's enough to make people think that there aren't many jobs available and even if you don't like what you do for a living, you should just be grateful that you have a job and do whatever it takes to keep it. However, even in a tight job market, you can still make a career change. It's just a little harder and takes more planning.
If you don't like what you're doing or don't feel that there is any room for advancement, changing careers can be very rewarding. The most important thing is to do the work before you make a change, so that you'll already be prepared. Here's 5 things you should know before you change careers:
- Create a plan - Looking before you leap can save you a lot of stress, heartache and financial problems. If you want to change careers, find out what all the steps are and make a plan for how you are going to accomplish them. Getting the prep work right will help you make your change as successful as possible.
- Think about your decision - Before you make any big commitments, do some soul searching about your desire to change careers. Do you really want to abandon your current career or is it just your job that you are unhappy with? Would you be happy somewhere else? Is it because you want to make more money? Is there any way to make more money and still do what you do now? There are no right answers to these questions, only what's right for you. The important thing is to ask yourself the hard questions in order to be sure this is the best choice.
- Strengthen your social network -Talk to people who work in your desired industry. One of the best ways to find a job is through your social network, so, try to meet and make friends with others who work in jobs that you would like to have. Those people will be able to give you some help and guidance along the way.
- Brush up on your education -You may need to go back to school for more training. If so, plan how you are going to afford it and don't forget to set aside time from your other responsibilities to focus on your education. If you aren't sure about making a career change, read a book about your desired career or take a class. You might surprise yourself and find out that you don't like it as much as you thought.
- Take small steps -The choice doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. If you aren't completely sure about your decision, do it in small steps. You could try freelancing, part time work or just an occasional job while you still are working at your current job. This will give you some experience and make it easier to find a new job when you're ready.
Career changes can be scary, but they can also be extremely rewarding. Have you ever changed careers? What was the most important part of the process? Please share your thoughts in the comments.