A career change is like any other big change in life and needs to be properly prepared for. Preparing for it can be inspiring and fun. Even more so – if you’re already looking to change careers, there’s something wrong and you’re looking for something better. Something that makes you happier. After all, if you are unhappy at work, it affects your whole life and your environment. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people who have realised that they don’t feel happy enough in their current job.
But if you haven’t yet taken the first step towards a career change, you are probably afraid of the unknown or of failure. The aim of this post is to help you to prepare yourself properly for a career change and reduce your fear of failure.
You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s better where we’re not”. Before you change careers, think carefully about whether you really want something new, or whether you’ve just been led to believe that it’s better where you don’t work. To see the real differences between your current job and your dream job, identify the problems that make you want to quit your current job and think about whether a new job will solve those problems. Be honest with yourself about what you are really looking for in a new career and whether you will really find it.
Also, to make this easier, gather as much information as possible about the job you want. Find out what your responsibilities will be, what salary to expect, what promotions are possible. Only by gathering as much information as possible will you be able to adequately assess whether the new job is really what you want.
Find out what you need to learn
If you dream of a career in a completely different field than the one you’re currently in, you’ll probably need some training to better master the skills you need for your new career. The more different your new job is from your old one, the more you will need to learn. Before signing up for training, it’s a good idea to assess what you already know and where there are gaps. Of course, it could be that you don’t know anything, you just have big dreams about a particular job or field. And that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get one! On the contrary, there are many examples of people who have drastically changed careers and finally found their professional happiness.
However, it is very important to think about things like training time if you are still working and don’t want to lose income. Also consider whether you will have enough money for the training, or whether it is worth considering a pay-as-you-go course.
Set goals and decide when you will achieve them
One of the most frustrating things about changing careers is the fact that you are doing it completely voluntarily. You don’t have to answer to anyone and there is no deadline for when you should be able to do it. In fact, for a lot of people, it is very difficult to act on their own when there is no outside control. So this is where you have to pull yourself together. Set yourself very clear goals – when, what, and for how long you will study, how long you will do an apprenticeship, where and how you will look for a new job. It is also very important not to overdo it, and to assess everything very adequately to make sure you meet your goals on time.
Connect all the dots
In other words, tell yourself how you got to where you are now. Where and when did the impulse or event or acquaintance happen that made you want to change your career into the one you want. Or was it something you always secretly wanted but were afraid to admit to yourself? In other words, uncover the truth, whatever it may be. Then you’ll better understand your motives and, most importantly, knowing the real story behind your career path will make it much easier to convince your new employers that you are worthy of the job and that you genuinely want it. This is especially important if your current job has nothing to do with the one you want and if your work experience was completely different. However, sometimes careers seem quite different at first glance. If you look deeper, you’ll discover what skills you learned in your previous job can be useful in your new one.
Of course, there are many times when you doubt yourself during a career change. And that’s perfectly normal. The important thing is to know that there will be those moments and to prepare for them. One of the most common doubts is age-related. The older you get, the more you think it’s too late to change careers. However, this is completely untrue. Numerous examples show that a successful career change can happen even when you are close to, or even at, retirement age. It is never too late to pursue your dreams and do what makes you happy. The important thing is to never lose optimism and positivity and to find the root causes that will propel you forward in the face of uncertainty.
We hope this post has given you confidence, reassured you, and allowed you to at least mentally create an initial plan of action for the future, if you want to get more detailed advice on retraining, please visit our Free Personal Career Consultation here. For now, it’s all about taking action and not stopping. Good luck!