5 Steps to a Career Change

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Have you stopped to consider the idea of changing careers? Do you feel your current job does not utilize or challenge you and your skill sets? Many people can get a bit bogged down and almost bored with a career after a length of time involved in it, and a change is desired, but often not seriously considered due to the whole idea of “starting over” or starting at the bottom again. However, if it is something you have considered and able to be pursued at this point in your life, then here are a few tips to help you evaluate and plan for making the change.


First, take a hard look at your skills and your interests. I know many people “fall” into a job, and end up sticking with it, but not necessary being totally satisfied with it, or find it utilizing the full potential of their skills and desires. Review your past experiences, especially side jobs and other interests, to find where you have been not only successful in other areas, but also more satisfied. Maybe utilize some of the self-help materials on career changing to help determine some of your stronger interest points.


Then, after evaluating interest and skills you have to pursue those interests, make a list of the potential areas you would consider pursuing, and start talking to others about it, like friends, family, counselors in your network, and other related personnel. Speaking to others may open up ideas and other areas you have failed to consider initially. Once you feel you have a few fairly well thought out alternative direction, begin some in-depth research on some of them.


Depending on the field of interest, look for volunteer work or part time side work in the field, to get a real feel for it and determine if it is really for you. If you are able to, find someone in the field and volunteer some time to shadow them for a while, to see what the job requires and to get a real feel of the position in action.


Be sure you know of any educational requirements needed to be most successful in the new career, and then research the educational opportunities available to you to reach those goals. So many fields now have online educational options or night and/or weekend classes, making it so much easier to acquire the needed skills, licenses, and training for a career. If the new career interest is a type of position that your current company also offers, you might even find that they offer ways to acquire education and training where they foot the bill, as a way to promote the growth of their employees.


Look for even small avenues in a current job that may be good experience for the future change. If there are ways you can accomplish some simple related tasks while in your current position, it can help expand your experience as well as give you additional experience for your resume. Research what is available for you while at your company that might provide a way to make a slight career path switch that would put you on a better track to accomplish your end goal.


Preparing and researching for a career path change is much more comfortable and “safe” than it would be to just up and quit and start over. So, take a look around, examine what you have and what you need, and make a concerted effort to change to the career of your dreams.


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