Making a big career change is never easy, especially if you have a family, bills to pay, or other obligations to worry about. However, if you create a plan and stick to it, you may find that switching careers can lead you to have a more fulfilling and rewarding work experience. In order to successfully transition to a new career, you need to determine why you want a change and find something new based on your skills and passions. Then, you should plan out the logistics of changing careers by looking at your finances, networking, and training. Finally, you are ready to begin applying for new jobs and transitioning to your new career.
Method One of Four:
Picking a New Career PathEdit
1Brainstorm what you are looking for in a new job. Perhaps you are not being challenged in your current role, or you are unhappy with the work-life balance. Brainstorm what you want from your new job. For example, do you want to pursue something more creative? Or do you want to have more control over your life by starting your own business?
- Write down the most important things you want in your new job. This will help you start to think about new career options.
2List your skills and passions. One way to discover a new career path is by thinking about your skills and passions. Ask yourself the following questions: What am I good at? What do I most enjoy doing? What excites me? What are some of my skills?
- Write down a list of your skills and passions.
- To help you discover your interests and passions, try taking an online career assessment test.
3Make a list of transferable skills. You may be surprised to realize that some of the skills you developed in your current career will also be useful in your new career. Brainstorm any skills that you believe can transfer between careers. For instance, communication, leadership, planning, and bookkeeping skills will easily transfer between a number of different career options.
4Research possible new career options. Now that you have a list of skills and passions, research ways that you could turn these into a new career. For example, perhaps one of your skills is teaching and one of your passions is web design. Perhaps you could consider a career in teaching web design at a local college.
- To help with the research process, try using the U.S. Department of Labor skills matching service at onetonline.org.
- If you're interested in starting your own business, take some time to research how much time and income doing something like that would take.
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Method 1 Quiz
What questions should you ask yourself when deciding on a new career path?
Method Two of Four:
Tackling the Logistics of a Career ChangeEdit
1Consider your financial situation. In most cases, switching careers will come with a decrease in pay. This is because you may need to start near the bottom of the corporate ladder in your new career. Make sure that you can afford to take a pay cut.
- You may be able to supplement your income in other ways. Make small investments or take on a part-time job to make up for the deficit.
- If you're starting your own business, consider taking out a small business loan.
- Try to pay off some of your debt so you have more money to put into your savings.
- As a general rule you should save enough money to cover three to six months worth of expenses.
- In some cases, you may be able to depend on family to help out financially during your career transition.
2Determine if you will need more education. Depending on your career change, you may need to update your skills and knowledge through education. For example, if you want to become a nurse, you will likely need to go back to school and take a nursing program.
- Start by taking a course of two in your new field to see if you enjoy the work. You do not want to invest the time and money on a completely new degree only to find that you don’t enjoy the work.
3Try taking classes. Start taking evening, weekend, or online classes while you're still at your current job. This way you will continue to make money while beginning the process of changing careers. If the course you need overlaps with your current role, you may be able to get your current employer to pay for your education.Advertisement
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Method 2 Quiz
How much money should you have saved before quitting your old job for a new path?
Method Three of Four:
Creating Connections in Your New FieldEdit
1Build a network in your new field. Reach out to people in your desired field in order to talk with them and make connections. You can do this by following people on social media sites, such as LinkedIn. Message them from time-to-time and explain your situation and ask for advice. Always give your contact information so that they can reach out to you in the future.
- Creating a network is useful because these individuals may be able to help you find a job, provide advice and information, and connect you with other people in the industry.
- Make an effort to meet people in person, rather than just talking to them on the phone or online.
- Share your own expertise and advice while networking.
2Conduct informational interviews. Informational interviews consist of conversations with people who currently work in your desired field. They give you an opportunity to ask honest questions about the job, industry, work-life-balance, etc. and will help you decide if this career is actually the right fit for you. Some questions to consider include:
- What do you like most about your job?
- What do you like the least about your job?
- What does a typical day look like for you?
- Are there any major trends in the industry that I should know about?
- How did you begin your career in this field?
- What are common entry-level jobs?
- What kind of education or training does this field require?
- What advice would you give to someone considering this field?
3Volunteer in your new field. This will allow you to gain invaluable experience working in your new field. This is also a way for you to test out the field without quitting your current job. For example, if you want to switch to a career in construction, you could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity on the weekends.
- Alternatively, you could help out with home renovations for friends to see if you really enjoy the work and the lifestyle.
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Method 3 Quiz
Before getting a job, how can you determine if a career path is right for you?
Method Four of Four:
Starting Your New CareerEdit
1Update your resume. You may not have updated your resume for a long time. Spend time updating your resume and make sure that you highlight the transferable skills and education that is relevant to your new career.
- If you are struggling to create a dynamic resume, you can hire a career counsellor to help you construct an effective resume that is geared towards a job in your desired field.
2Apply for new jobs. Search online job boards for positions within your desired field. Apply to as many jobs as possible. You should even apply for those that you don’t have all the qualifications for. If there is a position that seems too good to be true and above and beyond what you are qualified for, apply anyway. There is little to lose and you might be exactly what the firm is looking for.
3Practice your interviewing skills. It may have been years since you were last interviewed for a new job. In order to be successful in an interview, you should thoroughly research the company. This way you will appear knowledgeable about both the job and company goals and objectives. You should also practice some interview questions with a friend or family member. This will give you an opportunity to speak out loud and determine exactly how you will answer potential questions.
- During the interview make sure you draw connections between your past work experience and your new career. For instance, you may actually have years worth of experience in management, just in a different field.
- If you're feeling nervous for an interview, try to channel that feeling into excitement. That will show the interviewer that you're excited about the prospect of working for them.
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Method 4 Quiz
True or False: You should not apply for any jobs for which you do not have all the qualifications.
I did my ITI what business should I start?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Consider the skills you learned throughout your training and choose something that you enjoy doing. You may want to start by taking on a job in the field before you start your own business. This way you will get a better understanding of trends within the field and what types of businesses are expanding.
I am currently working in an Exchange house but I want to move from here to on shore / offshore drilling logistics job. I have 6 months of experience in this field. How do I make the transition?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Begin applying to jobs in your desired field. Make sure you clearly highlight your direct work experience in onshore/offshore drilling logistics. You also want to consider if there are any transferrable skills from your current job at the Exchange house.
How can I become motivated to learn the skills needed for a new job?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Find something you are interested in learning more about, something you enjoy, or something helping others. Think about what you could achieve on a decent income and be inspired by the goals you have for your life.
What if I can't afford to retrain, but would be legally required to do so for even an entry-level position? Do I just consign myself to a life of drudgery and hope I trip over $50K?Answered by Tom De Backer, Top Answerer
- Hey, hope dies last. There's always a chance you do indeed trip over $50K. If you really can't find a way to retrain or get the position you want in any other way, then yes, you have to accept that it won't happen for you. Is it possible to ask the company you'd be working for to front the expenses for retraining you? Maybe work for a reduced salary the first few years?
- Having a spouse or partner with a steady job makes switching careers a lot easier, but is by no means necessary.
- If you are unhappy in your current position, consider shifting roles within your workplace rather than changing careers entirely. Talk to your boss about higher-level opportunities that may be available to you.
- Consider your present career and the amount of time you need to retire. It may be better to stick with the job you have, retire a bit early, then take up something more rewarding. Bailing out early when you have a good retirement plan may compromise some of your other goals.
- Changing careers can take a significant amount of time, depending on how drastic of a transition you are making. Do not expect to change careers overnight. You need to invest time and effort into finding a new career that is right for you.
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