Are you currently working in a career that doesn’t seem to align with who you are? Whether you are in an unpleasant work environment, no longer feel challenged or simply aren’t inspired by your career choice, you aren’t alone in not loving your job. Many people find that as they grow and change the career they felt was ideal for them at one point in time no longer aligns with who they are. Often this leads to feelings of being stuck and not knowing where to turn next.
Making a career change or changing your career path can be a scary thought. Though it is difficult for anyone to do, it can be even more challenging for someone who has invested a lot of time in a career or obtained significant education towards their career path. Though changing your career isn’t easy, if you are feeling a pull towards change it is likely the right thing to do. In this article, we will help you discover how to make a career change no matter your age or stage of your career.
Ready to jump right into a career change and are looking for a little assistance in making powerful decisions? Contact career coach Lisa Jeffs and let her guide you in finding clarity and making smart moves towards your career goals.
How to Change Your Career Path
- Know what you want to do – one of the most challenging aspects of making a change in your career is knowing what you want to do. Sometimes making a change means moving to a different city or taking on a different role. But when you are considering making major changes, such as starting out in a new industry or in a role you don’t yet have experience in, knowing what to do can be tough. It’s a good idea to talk through your plans with your support network. Making drastic changes can seem intimidating to others so try to speak with those who will have your back and support you rather than put you down. If you are stuck on the “what” but know you need to make a change, don’t rush it. Give yourself time to understand what you are truly looking for.
- Obtain credentials – once you know what your desired change looks like, its time to take control of your dreams and take steps towards making it happen. Sometimes you can dive into new opportunities without needing to increase your experience, while other times you may need to obtain a whole new skill set. If your desired career change requires you to gain new credentials or obtain further education, don’t wait for someday. You will never make the changes you seek unless you take action towards making them happen. Develop a plan to obtain your required credentials and get started. When you are already balancing a career and family life this can be challenging and intimidating, but if you want it, you should go for it.
- Re-write your resume – if you have been in the same career for a long period of time, its likely a good idea to brush up on your resume. Consider reaching out to a professional resume writer or consult with a career coach on how to sell your skills to a potential employer. You might not need a lot of help, but getting an outside opinion can help
- Find your dream job – if you’ve taken all the steps you need to succeed, now is the time to start looking for your dream job. Treat your job search like it is your job, and don’t settle for something that doesn’t align with who you are or what your goals are. See our previous article “How to Find Your Dream Job” for more tips on finding your perfect career.
Should I Make a Career Change Later in Life?
Many people work in careers for long periods of time before deciding they want change. If you are an older employee in your 40’s or 50’s you absolutely can make the changes you desire in your life. See our previous articles “How to Make a Career Change at 40” and “How to Make a Career Change at 50” for more tips on making your desired career change. You have a wealth of experience and deserve to live a life you love.
Should I Consider Starting My Own Business?
Sometimes making a change in your career path means taking control of your own career and starting your own business. Though many of the tips we discussed earlier still apply to starting your own business, such as getting credentials and knowing what you want to do, you will have many other things to learn before making this change.
Starting your own business is an exciting and rewarding career path though it comes with a major learning curve. See our previous article “Tips for Starting Your Own Business” for pointers on getting started, or consider reaching out to a qualified business coach like Lisa Jeffs.
When Should I Quit My Job?
Are you feeling anxious or excited about making the career change you’ve been dreaming of? It may be tempting to quit your job before you have lined up your next career. Sometimes quitting your job before you have everything else worked out might be the right move, but often it is a good idea to set yourself up for success before making a major change such as quitting your job.
If your workplace is abusive or causing you harmful stress, anxiety or even depression, getting out now might be the right call. But if you are otherwise content and just looking for a change, waiting it out until you’ve found your dream job could be the more financially responsible move. You can still make big, scary, life-changing career moves while keeping your financial security safe, it doesn’t mean you are playing it too safe!
For more tips on knowing when to leave your current job for your dream one, see our previous article “When Should I Quit My Job?”