5 Useful Tips for Switching Careers

June 7, 2012 Category: Professional Development

In years past, the tradition was to go to school, get a degree, work at a company for 30-40 years, followed by retirement. The job market and the way people pursue their careers has changed dramatically since then. Not only are more working professionals going back to school along with traditional college students, they’re making important decisions about the future of their career path. One common decision includes the subject of switching careers.

Working one’s way up the corporate ladder is one thing but choosing to leave one career choice for another one is an entirely different matter. There are a number of reasons why a person would come to such a decision but regardless of the motivation, the path towards making this a reality should not be taken lightly.

Career ChangeBelow are some useful tips to help produce the best results when making this transition:

Tip #1: Don’t Jump the Gun

While the epiphany of realizing that a different career is your calling is wonderful, it is wise to avoid taking action too soon. Unless money isn’t a factor, quitting your current job in order to pursue a new one isn’t the best choice.

The last thing anyone should do is burn their bridges. Instead of trying to jump start the process, take baby steps. With the proper planning, making the change from one career to the next can be achieved with fewer consequences or negative repercussions.

Tip #2: Keep It To Yourself

Even if your coworker has grown to be your closest friend, keep your decision to change careers to yourself for the time-being. Aside from family and friends outside of the workplace, broadcasting your news will likely do more harm than good, especially if your employer ends up finding out.

Tip #3: Do Research & Make a Plan of Action

If the new career you’re working towards requires an entirely different set of skills compared to your current position, chances are you’ll have to seek the proper training/education to make yourself the ideal candidate once you’re ready to begin a new job search.

Create a new schedule that balances both your work routine with your home life. Online classes are an ideal solution. If attending campus classes is more realistic, there are plenty of weekend and evening courses available, especially if you’re considering a certificate program.

Tip #4: Work Your Numbers

It’s important to feel confident that you’ll be able to afford the cost of training for your new career and understand how much you’ll need to make at your new job to avoid going for broke as a result of your career change. If needed, start putting away money now from each paycheck to create a nest egg. Should you find yourself unable to secure a position in your new career path right away and if you’ve already left your employer, that nest egg money will tie you over in the meantime.

Tip #5: Have a Plan A, B, C and So On

Nothing always goes as planned and to avoid any unpleasant surprises, it’s a good idea to have more than one backup plan to address any number of scenarios that could occur.

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