Changing careers is a big decision but once it’s made, you’re ready to start your transition.
Here are some steps you can take to help prepare yourself for the changes ahead.
Know where you’re headed.
I mentioned this in my earlier post, but I want to reinforce the message. Often the decision to change careers is driven by emotion. You want to get out of your job and changing careers seems like a good option.
If your decision is based on emotion, it’s time to stop and look ahead. To be sure you’re taking the right step, you need to know where you’re heading and why. Will it give you what you’re looking for? Even if you’re not completely sure of what you want to do, you need to have some sort of goal or direction. Changing careers has to be a forward step, not backward.
Work out what is important to you
Identify the things you value most in your work and the way you live your life. Is there a social cause that influences your choices? Do you want more time with the family? Are you looking for a job where you can make a difference in the world? Or perhaps money is an important driver for you right now. Until you know yourself and what drives you, you won’t have a way to assess which role is likely to fulfil those needs.
Analyse your skills.
Be honest with yourself and identify what you’re good at and where your skill gaps are. Do you need new skills or qualifications for the role or do you have proven experience which will well equip you? Look back over your work history and consider your non-work activities. I recommend talking with a mentor or perhaps a work colleague to give you a fresh and honest perspective on this.
Understand that you might not be able to start at the top.
Changing careers can mean starting from the bottom again. Are you prepared for that? If you’ve been in a senior leadership role for some time, will you be comfortable in a non-leadership role? Look at your career transition as a series of steps taking you closer to your ideal career.
Design your career.
In my experience, this is where most people fall over. They have no clear career strategy. Careers don’t just happen; they are designed, planned and worked for. You are the architect of your future. Career design means picturing the perfect role for you. One which fits your values and life choices, and developing a strategy to get you there. Too many people leap from one job to another and wonder why they aren’t happier. Until they reflect on what they are looking for from their careers, they won’t find what they hope for.
If you’re committed to making a career change, plan for it. If you need guidance to develop your career strategy, join my online Career Clarity Coaching Program. It will give you access to the tools and strategies you need to create your dream career by design.
If you’d like to talk about your career transition, reach out. I’d love to help.