5 Tips for a Successful Career Change

In our time, career change is something that most people will experience.  Most people don’t have just one career that they do for their entire lives.  Most people will have several careers.  If you’re coming up to your first career shift, you might be a little intimidated though.  It can be a scary time, right?  You constantly ask questions and second guess yourself because you want this career change to go well.

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are thinking of embarking on a career change is to have a plan.  Know what steps you are going to take and what your goals are and where you hope to end up.

Take these 5 tips into consideration:
  1. Know yourself.  Do you know what motivates you?  What makes you happy? What challenges you?  Think about yourself and how you relate to work.  Are you happiest when you are working with a team or by yourself?  Do you like to do repetitive tasks or do you like to have a variety of things to do each day.  Do you focus better in complete quiet or do you like the buzz of a busy office?  Know these things and other truths about yourself will help you narrow down the careers that you will want to consider and the ones you should stay away from.
  2. Know what skills you have that can be transferred to another job.  Transferrable skills are the kind of skills that are suited to more than just one field and if you have demonstrated that you are highly skilled in these kinds of things employers may look past your lack of experience in a specific job. Some transferrable skills include computer skills, communication skills, numeracy, and document use.
  3. Know your goals.  What is your ultimate goal for your career?  The more defined your goals are the more targeted your actions will be.  Having defined goals can help you determine your next job move.
  4. Know what options are available to you.  You’re likely going to have to make a choice at some point.  Know what kind of prospects are out there for jobs and know which ones you want to grab.  When you are focused you can spend less time applying for jobs and more time researching the companies that you really want to work for.  Knowing the company you want to work for will give you an advantage over other job seekers.
  5. Know what you can realistically expect.  Before you make a big decision like changing careers you should know what you can expect from the job market.  Are you going to have to get additional training before you can get hired on your next job?  Do you need  a certification? Or can you get hired based on your past experiences.  Knowing what to expect can help you prepare a plan for your job search strategy.