Five Career Tips for Planning a Career Change

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May 01, 2015 By Univariety

Considering a career change can be a daunting task. And the reasons for a career change could be many. More often than not, we end up choosing our careers based on peer or parental pressure and halfway through it, we realize that we are cut out for something else. However, there is no cause for panic. You can change your career at any point in your life.
Here are 5 tips for planning a career change:

  1. Take Stock- The first step is self assessment. It is important to understand what you like and dislike about your current job. This will help you identify career opportunities that suit your strengths. This time, make sure that you pick a job that makes you pop out of bed every morning. Enjoying one’s work is of utmost importance. Take a good look at your values, interests, personality and skills (sometimes shortened as VIPS). Once you have taken stock of your current situation, switching becomes easier.
  2. Do Your Research- When you begin hunting for careers related to your interest, you will come across emerging jobs and careers. Become a mini-expert in your field and dive deep to explore more.
  • Talk to people who are doing these jobs already.
  • Go online and research these careers. The annual Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent source of career information.
  • Check out ‘Vault’ for downloadable career guides and access to discussion and job boards (this service is free for degree candidates; others may purchase). 
  • Attend conferences, seminars, and meet-ups that are applicable to your field. 
  • Read relevant articles and trade publications. 
It is a good idea to choose another industry role within the same or similar field. That way, you bring in something transferrable in terms of skills and experience.
  1. Develop an Action Plan- Once you identify a new career path, form an action plan. What steps do you need to take to get where you want? Set specific goals. Charting a plan of action helps in concretizing your decision and provides a purpose that you can work towards.
  2. Make Connections and Gain the Experience- Regardless of which field you choose, you need to figure out how to make that bridge into a new career. Will you do an internship? Volunteer? Do part-time work? Or maybe stay in your current job and offer to do extra projects. Make that bridge, and build your resume. Employers like to hire people they know—personally or through their network. Making connections in your industry can help you land your new job. You can even try and do an additional course online to build your resume.
  3. Do a Reality Check- Honestly, look at the steps involved and make sure you have a support system in place that will make this exciting change an easier transition for you.
By following some of the above tips, you can make a smooth transition from one career to another.

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