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A Guide to Switching Careers

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It’s a terrifying decision but it’s the first step to a more content life. Switching careers is a risky proposition but it can be done. It takes some work and having a better grasp on things will help you find a job in your preferred field faster.

Changing careers is a huge risk but when done right, you’ll get through the challenge, happier and successful. Once you’re confident in your decision, take a while before you quit your current job. It’s important that you acquaint yourself with a few tips and necessities to avoid any pitfalls after you leave your current position.


  1. Know why you’re making this change: The first step to take when you decide that you need a career change is to know why. Make an elevator pitch. Who are you? What do you do? Why are you looking to work within this particular field? Preparing this allows you to share your expertise and skills quickly and effectively, and shows people that you are efficient. It also allows you to connect with them better.


  1. Be practical and strategize: It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the industry and its workings, and the demand for jobs within it. Know the roadblocks ahead to be fully prepared when you finally put yourself out there. It’s important that you note down your short-term and long-term goals to avoid losing focus. Be thorough by creating a strategy and sticking to it.


  1. Get some knowledge and experience: Since you are technically starting over, it helps if you get a few hours of part-time experience into your resume. This will also make you confident in that field. Online courses are making it easier to change your career, and picking up a relevant course will add credibility in your work and bump up your applications when you send them in.


  1. Test your ideas, don’t just think about them: Much of the time, our plans are stuck in our thoughts. While these plans sound like a great idea, we’re hesitant because we may make a mistake. Try to shadow a friend in a field you’re interested in. Testing out a career idea can help you decide if it’s the right one for you.


  1. Passion won’t get you anywhere: Don’t be fixated on finding the perfect career. Such a mindset can put you in a corner and makes it tougher for you to make your career switch. Instead, focus on your skills and your interests, and cultivate your ideal job description by working on them. It also helps if you’re looking at a handful of industries rather than putting all your energy into just one.


  1. Talk to an authority within that industry: Talk to someone, especially a mentor who understands the industry well and will guide you through the process. Look through the people in your network and connect with those you think would be able to help you, especially ones who are genuinely interested. A mentor can help you navigate rough waters and make your career change less overwhelming.


  1. Prepare to sink: Don’t expect too much from your first round of pursuits. A lot of people go into their career change believing that they’ll be successful in securing a new gig in their first round of application. More often than not, this is not the case and such blind optimism is likely to break your spirit.


  1. Be flexible: Starting over requires a few compromises on your part. You’ll have to work longer hours for a lower salary. If you’ve completely committed to this change, you’ll have to be open to relocation as well. You may even have to work with people you don’t get along with. Set a few goals to understand where you want to go but always have room for change.


  1. Look within your networks: Your contacts are a great resource and connecting with them and asking them to get you in touch with any opportunities they come across yields better results than you’d expect. Another great tip is to look at the company you currently work at and finding open positions in your preferred field there.


The only thought to hold onto while pursuing your new career is to never quit. It’s a tough change to go through and it’s easier to stay put in your current job despite the fact that it gives you no satisfaction. However, push yourself a little and keep an eye out for opportunities, even in the places you least expect them to be. Persevere and you will reap successful results and a career you can thrive in.