It’s never too late to take a step back in order to map out a path that fulfills your career aspirations. The HR Digest has curated a five-step guide to help you make a career change.
The word “change” can sound quite misleading. It projects the idea of distancing yourself from a place of certainty. In reality, it’s an opportunity to center your focus back on the self. An important part of getting where you want to go in life is navigating your personal and professional needs.
A few years ago, I took a job at a well-known technology startup. I’d always loved their products, so landing a position with the company felt like a dream come true. I still remember the day I received the offer letter —I’d painted the town red, and all I could think about was my first day at work!
I wanted to work relentlessly every day and night so I could prove myself that I was worthy of the opportunity.
Like most San Francisco jobs, it was manic, and I often found myself working past midnights. Within six months I was logging in 100 hours a week, and my manager began calling me an idiot for being unable to fulfill client requests at early hours in the morning. In no time, I was burned out to the point that I had serious heart palpitations. I was ashamed to admit that I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the folks in the Valley.
It wasn’t until I was hospitalized for a stroke that I realized this was no way to navigate my career. Letting go for a successful career seemed like a difficult decision to make, although in retrospect it’s the healthiest thing I have done for myself. I feel much happier now.
Sometimes it is hard to let go of something that is a part of your identity. Your career is a big part of your life, and so switching careers is anything but a walk in the park. My journey taught me that more often than not, you need to pause and evaluate your surroundings. If I didn’t make a successful career change, my life wouldn’t be exciting and fulfilling as it is right now.
A Second Act: How to Change Careers
There is a point in your career when you want to change everything and start it over from the beginning. At this point, you want to change your profession, and you want to experience something new. Whether you are tired of your current job, or you want to get more work-life balance, a successful career change requires some steps.
Here, I’m sharing the steps I took which helped me change my career path. Some of them are more demanding than others, but all of them are needed in this process. Let’s start.
Know what you want to change
Before taking any action, you should know why you want to change your actual career. Is the salary bad, or the work-life balance is not good or is something else the reason why you want to change your career?
You should write down all the reasons and reveal the key aspects of your dissatisfaction. The more sincere you are, the better you will know what the real problem is.
Decide on the industry you want to be in
The second step is deciding on the industry that you want to be in. You may not know the actual position or the salary that you want to have, but you can still know which industry might be the best for you.
If you have worked in the medical field, for example, it will be hard to transfer to computer science. However, with some hard work and persistence, you can still make it possible. Deciding on the industry that you want to be in is a half job done in a successful career change. That is why you should be very selective and very cautious in this step of the entire process.
Get the education
Once you have decided on the industry and job you want to have, you need to get the necessary education. There are many courses online and offline that you can attend, and all of these courses can get you closer to a dream job.
There are other forms of education, and some of them are completely free. You can attend the courses at some universities that are free for the persons who want to find out more about the specific subject. There are also options to get a tutor or a mentor who will introduce you to the job you want to have.
Change your resume
Once you decide to change your career, you should be able to change your resume. After you get the necessary education, you will write down your experiences in a new resume. You can also mention volunteering work or any kind of involvement that is related to the job you want to get.
Changing your resume will give you an advantage in job search, and you will have more chances to win a job that you have aspirations for. If you are not sure how to write a resume, you should search for professional help from a writer or career coach.
Networking is a crucial part of changing a career. You will not find a new job if no one knows you. You should be present on social media or you should attend the gatherings in your place of living. If you want to have connections in the industry of your choice, you should be present at the meetups, and here, you should create the connections that can increase the chances of getting a new job.
It’s never too late!
Changing a career is not simple and it is not a process that can be done overnight. You should make a serious effort to learn new things and apply them in the process. Once you are ready, you can expect a huge change that a new job will bring to you.