So, you think it is time for a career change? Follow our nine step career change plan and you’ll be well on the way to a more enriching life!
Many people are unhappy in their jobs, but you have made the big decision to change your career. So let’s examine some of the reasons you might have decided that a career change is for you.
Perhaps you are looking for a career with a higher salary? Or looking for a career that allows for a better work life balance? You might have become bored with your current responsibilities, and be looking for a more exciting career? Perhaps a career with more travel? Or more opportunities to make a difference? Or you wish to combine your career with broader interests you have in life? Make sure, however, that it is a career change you are seeking, and not just a different employer in the same career.
Whatever the reason, you have made the biggest step of all, which is to decide to make your career change a reality!
So now what? Let’s look at a nine point career change action plan for how you might attack your career change!
1) Choosing your new career
Assuming that you would like to use your career change, at least partly, to increase the enjoyment you get from the time you spend working, the first thing to do is to assess what you actually like doing!
2) Skills and experience for your career change
So now you know what you want to get out of your career change. Now you must assess whether you have the right skills and experience to get into your new career.
3) Training for your new career
If completing a career change we easy, all of us would be in our dream careers right now! So what is stopping us? Perhaps it is the additional skills which we need to build to be credible in our new career. Don’t think that training, however, is restricted to job-related or academic courses. You can get the skills and experience you need for your career change in many other ways!
4) Accepting a pay cut for your career change
Perhaps the main reason for your career change is to earn more money? If so, then that’s great, but it’s always wise to get as much information on your new career to ensure that you will actually earn more money doing it. If, however, your career change is not driven by wanting to achieve more money, you may need to accept a pay cut.
5) Financing your career change
Completing your career change may require a spell without paid employment. As well as tightening your belt, you should also do a thorough review of your financial position, including loans, mortgages and credit cards. By switching credit cards, you may find you can save money and get other benefits!
Perhaps your main reason for your career change is to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living, or better schooling or a better climate. Even if it isn’t, your career change might require a relocation – you won’t find many opportunities to be a ski instructor in San Diego, for example!
7) Changing career without changing employer
Before you assume that you will need to leave your current employer to achieve your career change, have a look around and see if your career change goals can be satisfied where you are currently working.
8) Finding a new employer
There are a number of ways to find an employer which every job searcher knows – classified adverts, internet job-boards, employer directories etc. Many jobs, however, are never listed in classified adverts and on job-boards because they are filled as soon as they are announced!
To make sure that you are in with a chance, you must develop a strong network in the career you wish to change to.
9) Refreshing your job-hunting skills
The chances are, if you’ve been in your current position for a while, that your job-hunting skills could be quite rusty! So take the opportunity to brush up on these skills – you might only get one chance to make your career change successful!
10) Staying flexible to achieve your career change dreams
Finally, now that you’ve made the biggest step and chosen to pursue a career change, don’t rush it! It may take a month or even a year to work out exactly what you want from your career change and to develop the skills, experience and network to get you into the right place within that career. Don’t settle for something which is ‘almost right’ or you’ll be going through the whole career change process again!
Jonathan Lewis is the founder and CEO of Careerfriend, a company committed to helping people succeed in their dream careers. His extensive experience of attracting, recruiting, retaining and developing exceptional people in management consulting and investment banking allows him to offer clear, actionable advice which has a great impact on people either looking for new jobs or looking to succeed further in their existing jobs.
The Careerfriend website ([http://www.careerfriend.com]) contains free career advice articles to help people succeed in securing dream careers, from career and employer selection, through resume and cover letter writing, to interviewing, salary negotiation and ongoing career development.
Jonathan was educated at Cambridge University, UK and has advised major national and international corporations, both in the public and private sectors, on issues of corporate strategy, corporate organization, labor relations, personnel development.