Preparing for a Career Change

The time has come for a career change. You wish to switch careers and it's the only thing on your mind these days. Bored, fired, low pay or high ambition, there are any number of reasons for a career change. First things first! Don't fret. A career change is not as bad these days as it was made out to be in the olden days when there were fewer options for employment. But now, with highly paid jobs available and new skills that can be learnt over a few weeks, things have changed drastically. Many people have given up seemingly secure banking, government jobs, etc. and have opted for software jobs, creative jobs and even freelance options. All you need then is a bit of courage, a dash of self belief and some clarity of thought and you can join the band of people who have successfully changed careers.

If you are on the edge of changing careers, here are a few things you may want to do to get more clarity on your thought process. As always we must begin the process at home, i.e., with ourselves. Firstly take an honest look at why you want to change your career. Junk the trash about bad boss, bad conditions, etc. because these reasons do not help you in your decision making process. Instead identify aspects about the job that you want, about qualities within you that you feel can be commercially and creatively expanded. In simple terms find out what excites you - meeting people, negotiating, writing, traveling, sports, communicating or whatever else. Once you know that this is the one thing you would like to do for your creative satisfaction then we can zero down to further career options. If on the other hand you are seeking to move because you wish more compensation, faster growth, travel, etc., look to identify your qualities and experience that could land the kind of jobs you want. For example, if you wish to be a software consultant and you have been working as an accountant, there are many finance related software skills that you can add to yourself to find a software career with an accounting background.

Identify what excites you the most and find a career that works around your passion. There are as many options as you want these days. If you conduct some research, you will be surprised at the kind of options that are available. From working from home to traveling abroad to setting up event management companies to providing creative consultancy, you can hop on to any career you wish. Normally most ex-jobs (even the most boring ones) leave you with a certain amount of basic skills that come in good stead for your career change. Organizational skills, communication skills, creative skills, administrative skills, leadership skills etc are skills that you can carry along with you to your new job. Identify those skills and work on them in a way that you can leverage them for your new career. This will give you a head start because most principles in business or arts work around a pattern and you can slot it into your pattern.

Find people you know in the new career you would like to get into and meet as many people in that business as you can. Their advice on how the industry works, the skill sets required and so on will be invaluable. Based your research you can narrow down your search to the courses or skills you need to add and where from. The process will also help you meet many new people who could be valuable resources in the new career search. It also helps to gain experience on the side, by working on projects or part time jobs.

A career change can be the one decision that could change your life for the better because it is a decision you would have taken consciously and responsibly. It is a decision you have taken for your own good and therefore you will work at it diligently and carefully and with a lot of love and care. In most cases it is a passion for that kind of work or the result of your work that motivates you and both reasons augur well for you in the career. There will be some initial set backs – the cash flows may not be heavy in the beginning, new places and new environments might be daunting but it will all pass. Once you are up and over that learning curve nothing can stop you. Good luck!