You can come to a point in your career where you feel like you’re trudging through your workdays and stuck in your career. Many people reach this point and still stay in a career they hate. But, maybe it is time for a change!
When you feel like your career is going nowhere, you should create a list of goals that you want to achieve from your work. Analyse the industries and positions you would benefit from that excite you as a new career. Figure out the next steps and apply yourself to start the process of moving forward.
To discover what your career change should look like and choose a pathway that fits who you are, you need to get to know yourself. The important career-changing steps all involve analysing research and your career goals. So, what are the next steps?
Make a career goal list!
When considering a career change, a good place to start is by making a list. You can write out your goals that you might have lost track of somewhere along the way. From these goals, you can note down career options. With a quick search, you will be able to find jobs and industries that are aiming to achieve the same goals that you are. Perhaps these are the places you should be looking into.
Try to narrow down your selection to three options and only choose more if they are in similar areas, like front end developer and UX design, for example. But, if they are in different industries, then don’t select more than three. What will you do with this list? Research everything you can about each profession!
For this part, it is a good idea to use a spreadsheet to keep things organized. You should research things like the occupation’s outlook for the next ten years, the average and the entry-level salaries and how difficult it is to find a job. You should also note if these positions require certain qualifications and how you could afford to get these.
You should also research if that profession has a high demand where you live and, if not, if you are willing to move to another city.
By completing your research, you can narrow down your list even more and create a clear career path.
Consider what you want from your career
This question will give you a clearer picture of what you expect to gain from a career change and why you are doing it. Maybe you are changing careers because you want more money, more free time to share with loved ones, or more career advancement opportunities.
You may also want a profession where your job has a real impact on society and gives you a purpose. Once you identify what you expect to get out of your future career, you will be able to narrow down the positions that offer those things.
If, after answering these questions, you are still a little lost, you can also take a career quiz. These tests help you identify the careers that will adapt better to your personality traits. They will help you to make a better decision.
Are you stopping your career from moving forward?
A lot of the time, the main obstacle standing in your way will be yourself. Your worries about change can be the reason for not having career progression. Your mind is likely to supply all of the reasons why you shouldn’t even try to start your dream career. That you will probably fail. There is also something called imposter syndrome, and it is when you feel like you don’t really have the skills to do something. Imposter syndrome makes you feel as though you don’t deserve the things you have accomplished so far.
But this is all in your head. You only need to change your mindset. Believe you can do it and you will! Once you step out of your own way, what is there stopping your career from going forward?
Will your career thrive in a different environment?
You might be finding that your work environment is impacting your career goals. You should analyse where you are more productive and in which environments you feel more comfortable. Which environments allow you to concentrate better? These elements can help you figure out if you will thrive more in a different work environment.
For example, if you need complete silence to concentrate and perform better at night, you should consider a remote position. If you feel better working with others and talking to people in person, remote work is not a good option.
Perhaps working autonomously is an appealing opportunity to you.
If you determine what your ideal job looks like, then you can have a better idea of what career will adapt to that.
Consider internships for a career change
At this point, you should have one or two options on your list that meet your requirements. But having information and data doesn’t really tell you what it is like to work as a professional in the area. Instead, you can consider doing some internships. These will help you understand what the industry is like and how the environment and work culture is.
Internships are a great way to see reality and for you, as a career changer, is the best opportunity to determine if you will like your future career. Depending on the career, you can do an internship before learning the qualifications you’ll need. You will also have an early start in networking and making connections when you look for a job in the future.
The other option, alongside internships, is taking on an entry-level job in a new industry. It is a good opportunity to start fresh and consider working your way up a new challenge. Before making this decision, it is good to investigate the best entry-level jobs for your career change.
Get the Qualifications
After completing the above steps, you should have a clear picture of what career you want for your future. Now it is a matter of learning the necessary skills. Depending on the career you chose, you may have different options. Sometimes getting a bachelor’s degree is a must. You may have to consider completing a tertiary degree whilst working. But if employers accept other qualifications like professional certifications, then you should consider that option.
University will take a few years at least, and it could be harder to be a career changer if you have to spend two years studying to get back to work. Instead, professional certifications like coding boot camps and other forms of job training last a few months, and you will learn all the hard skills anyway. Make a plan on how you will get the skills and how you will afford the courses. Once you have a plan, you are ready to take action in your career change.
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