Tips to Easing into a Career Change
It could be that you’re five years into your career or 25 years into it – having a change of heart on the career path to take can happen. It may be that you’ve realized the characteristics needed to thrive on the job is just not you, or that it hasn’t turned out to be what you envisioned it to be before starting the career. In other instances, there may be a lifestyle change. Now the balance between work and life need to be different and another career path may be more suitable and accommodating to those needs. Whatever your situation, a career change should not be taken lightly. It requires careful review and planning. The last thing you want to do is jump over to the next boat to only find out it’s not really the one for you, again.
The process of a career change may include a great deal of stress and there may be hiccups along the way, but here are tips to help make the transition smooth.
Know what you’re getting yourself into
You can have a good grasp of the career by reading up on information and talking to others in the profession, but you won’t really have a full grasp until you dip your toes in it. If possible, try volunteering your time in the field, taking on an internship or shadowing someone for the day so that you have a good sense of the day-to-day activities. While this may not be possible for all of you, at the very least, go through informational interviews with individuals working in the position and the type of company you desire. It’s important to take the time to evaluate whether it is really the career you want to be in over the course of several years and even through to when you retire.
Make the move when you’re financially stable
Moving ahead with a career change can mean drastic changes to income and additional financial investments. In some instances, it may mean the need to invest in additional education or training to build up knowledge and skills needed to succeed on the job. In other instances, it may mean having to start at entry-level and working your way up, which can mean a significant reduction in pay. These are investments and sacrifices one must take for a smooth career change transition. Some have found the transition easier by staying in the same industry while making a change in field, like going from a finance job at a hospital to a marketing job at a hospital. When you make the move to change careers, you want to be ready financially to provide a cushion for things unexpected or necessary. Find out more, reading: “Taking a Lower-Level Position – 4 Things to Know.”
Re-position your resume
Getting the resume ready will require a bit more work when you’re going for a career change. In fact, it may be a total resume revamp that you need particularly when it comes to your experience and skills. What is it that you bring to the table that the employer in the new career will value? It’s critical to take the time to assess this and properly highlight it on the resume. You’ll find all the tips and help needed to do it, reading: “How to Give the Resume a Boost for a Career Change.”
Build a support network of professionals in the same field
Having a supportive professional network and mentor is key to a smooth career change. Not only can this help you in securing interviews for job opportunities, but it can also help you once you’re on the job. If you think about it, employers may be hesitant to bring on someone who does not have direct field experience. However, if you have a referral – especially someone in the same profession who’s vouching for you – the employer is much more likely to take you into consideration. A lot of things may also be different than your previous career, so having a mentor who can give you the inside scoop on how things work and what you need to succeed on the job is priceless.
A career change is a big deal and it may bring along new stress and challenges, but if you’ve properly reviewed and researched it, planned the timeline for action, and built your supportive network, you’ll get through it all!