Changing careers is increasingly common among modern professionals. That said, the thought of moving out of your comfort zone, even if you’re unhappy is often so terrifying that many people resort to daydreaming about their dream careers, instead of committing to the work and taking the plunge.
The following steps will help you prepare for a successful career change.
Get real with what you really want
Your career and your happiness are intertwined. It’s easy to hanker after the life of a self-made millionair, but beware; this is the time to turn your attention inwards. Oftentimes, the reality of a career that appeals to you is starkly different to your perception of it. Take the time to journal, brainstorm or ponder what you want your career to look like. What are your non-negotiables? What do you want to feel in five, ten and fifteen years time?
Crunch the numbers
Switching from one career to another often requires a degree of financial sacrifice. Review your budget, work out what you need to earn to cover your costs, and identify the areas that you’re willing to cut down on. This exercise is crucial, as your financial standing will determine the timeline of your career change. While it’s tempting to resign without another job lined up, it’s also naive. Before you make any drastic decisions, be honest about how this change will affect you financially, and how much of a buffer you’ll need to tide you over during the transition.
Do your research
The best decisions are those based on facts, as opposed to emotions. While your career has a profound effect on your emotional wellbeing, resist the urge to jump into unchartered waters without knowing exactly what you’re getting into. Instead, reach out to people who’ve ventured onto paths unknown and then lived to tell the tale. While everyone’s career paths are different, extract the nuggets of wisdom that resonate and apply to your own goals and challenges. When you know what to expect, you can prepare accordingly.
Identify the skills you’re lacking and then invest in further education
Very few people can switch careers armed solely with their existing knowledge. Pinpoint the skills or areas of expertise you need to gain, and then formulate a plan of action as to how you’ll go about acquiring them. Once you know how you’re going to proceed—via an online business diploma, for example—you can plot out a timeline of the milestones that need to be conquered to complete your career change.
Investing in an online business diploma is the first step towards a successful career change. To learn more about navigating this process, download our free guide, ‘Fast-Track Your Career By Studying Online’.