You’ve picked a career path, studied for it, and worked in the field, but its not as good a fit as you thought it would be, and you find yourself watching the clock on the wall every day, willing it to be quitting time. Anyone else with me? If this is the situation that you are currently experiencing, then it may be time for a career change. A career change may seem daunting but with these tips you can do it smoothly and get into a field where you really want to work!
Save and budget.
Few of us get to walk out of one career and into the same or a comparable level in a new one. What this means first and foremost is that we are going to potentially have to accept a pay cut. Of course, there are two simple way of dealing with this. The first is that if you know a reduction in incoming money is likely, you can use your last year in your old job to squirrel away as much as possible. Then you will have a buffer fund that can make things easier when your salary decreases. It is also possible to budget and make reductions in your standard of living when you are earning less. Yes, it may mean not shopping at those high-end stores or canceling subscriptions for boxes or magazines that you love. However, if it means you get to do a more engaging and satisfying job day in and day out, it has to be worth the sacrifice, right?
Get specific training.
Next, when it comes to making a career change go more smoothly, it is critical that you pick the right type of training. Choose the course you need to be specific and practical to the field you are hoping to work in. Perhaps you want to get a paralegal certificate, or you want to head to law school or MBA program, or you want enter a trade like this HVAC training program, you can find the right fit with a little research. But it is important you don't quit your current job until you know how long this training will take! Some companies may even help you pay for it so always look for those opportunities. Also be sure that any accreditations for a course you pick are in line with the industry standard, as this can help to make getting your first role in your new career go much more smoothly.
Don't burn your bridges.
Just because you are leaving one field for another, it doesn't mean that you have to burn your bridges. In fact, it is a fantastic idea to keep in touch with the colleagues from your previous career, just in case, things don't work out as you planned in your new one. Plus, you may need a references from former bosses or co-workers so it is important that you keep these relationships positive. You can check out a recent podcast about switching from one job to the next on this recent Not Wonder Woman Podcast episode.
Give yourself time.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your new career path! After all, it took you awhile to get where you are in your current field, so don't expect to wake up one day with a brand new career and to be an expert in it overnight! Instead, you need to work out a plan that covers the long and medium term as well as what you can do in the short term to move closer towards your career change goals. Do this, and you certainly will find that your career change transition will go much more smoothly, even if it does take a little longer that perhaps you would like.
If you have tips to share with your fellow boss babes wanting to switch careers, make sure to add those in the comments!
100% agree with these tips! I spent five years working in a field that I had gotten a masters in before I realized I was in the wrong field. I saved, studied, prepped, and took the plunge. A year later, I'm enjoying my new career and am learning all the time. It was terrifying and difficult, but looking back at how far I've come, I'm really proud of myself!
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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