Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is it Time To Switch Careers?

Career path
Image by highwind012 via Flickr
Have you been unsatisfied with your career lately? Feel like you need to make a change in your life? It’s kind of scary isn’t it? But you are not alone. At some point it is something everyone considers and many people decided that changing careers is the right thing to do for them.

Sometimes changing careers means that you need to go back to school to re-train. Sometimes it is a matter of learning something completely new and other times it is about upgrading your skills.  But if you are going to change careers you will definitely need to plan ahead to make sure that this big shift of direction is worth it for you.

Self-Assessment

Before you take a big step like changing your career, you should take some time to do some self-assessment. Think about what you like about your current career and what you don’t like. Consider you values and interests and think about the skills you already have. The skills and knowledge that you have now might be enough to help you move into a new career but you might have to learn some new ones, too.

Going Back To School

If you have decided that you are going to make the plunge and change careers and if you have realized that part of that will mean going back to school you should research your options. You may have to go and get a degree at a university or you may be able to take a course at a business college. Business colleges are great for those who are older because they can often get you back into the work force in the minimal amount of time. You can also consider schools that offer night classes or online education classes so that you do not have to quit your current job immediately. Online education often gives you a little more time to complete your courses, which can decrease the stress and pressure you might feel in going through a career change.

Consider Your Finances

Going back to school and changing your career can have a big impact on your finances. Of course, it costs money to go to school but you should also remember that if you completely change careers you are likely to work for less money at first. Technical schools, online schools, and short term classes can save you a bit of money and help you get back to work as soon as possible. Business schools usually include a work practicum portion of the course, which can be a big help in getting you experience and references.

If you know that you are going to change careers, start looking for networking opportunities now. Be proactive. Set up informational interviews so that you can find out what the job is really like before you spend time training for it. Find out what kind of skills you will need and see if there is a way that you can build up some experience.

Changing careers can be terrifying and exciting at the same time. Changing careers is not for everyone. If you are seeking positive changes though and if you do your research and are prepared for the big changes, the transition between careers can be done quite easily.
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