How to Plan a Successful Career Change
Interested in a new career? People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals or values may have changed, you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.
Before you make a decision like this, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose a career that will be more satisfying for you.
Review these tips for assessing your interests, exploring options, evaluating alternative career paths and making the move to a new career.
Evaluate your current job satisfaction.
Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work?
Know Your Direction
It’s okay not to have a definitive career goal, but you need to have a few steps planned out. If you think of your plan like a ladder, sometimes you can’t see what’s at the top until you’ve taken a few steps up. But don’t confuse your lack of direction with a lack of information about how to change directions.
Consider alternative careers.
Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
Check out job options.
Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
Try it out.
Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you're interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.