New decade, new career? Career change takes effort and can also take time and money. Before you leap head first into changing careers, follow this career advice to make sure that it’s the right one for you.
Do some reflection
Don’t change your career as a result of a knee jerk reaction and rush into a new career field because you are dissatisfied or disillusioned with your current job, boss or company. You may love the field but have not found the right company that suits your personality or work ethos. For example, you may work in public relations for a record company but you may find working for a non profit organisation may be more rewarding. Take some time out for some much needed reflection to assess whether it is the job role or your current work environment that is lacking.
Do your research
Research is essential before you change your careers. Things to investigate are the level of education and training required, potential salary and career path. Draw upon your network and attending networking events to find out information about your industry. This may involve setting up information meetings with managers of companies you are interested in, going to career or trade fairs or industry association events.
Find a mentor
Find someone in your chosen career who is willing to act as a mentor to you and be available for any questions you may. Places to find mentors are through industry associations, networking events and training and educational facilities. You may have to pay a fee to have a mentor assisting you but it may be well worth it if you are planning to change careers.
It’s a good idea to get some additional training under your belt before you launch yourself into a new career. For some careers like such as trades like hairdressing, plumbing and so forth, you may be able to learn on the job but for other careers such as engineering or teaching, you will have to undertake additional education at your own expense. To understand the level of education required for an entry level job into the industry, speak to other people at a similar level, talk to recruitment agents or industry associations.
Do work experience
It’s a good idea to do work experience before you change careers. It will give you a chance to see if this job is the right one for you and you will also be able to gain experience, confidence, and contacts in your new field before you fully transition over. Find out about all the tasks involved in the job that you may like but also parts of the job that you may dislike keeping in mind that most jobs require some sort of admin or reporting structure.
Don’t spend the next decade complaining to all and sundry about your career. Take these steps to find out whether a career change is right for you and put all those unanswered questions at rest. It may take several months or even years to change careers but if you start the process, your dream career may be more achievable than you think.