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Tips On Changing Careers

Aug 17, 2007
A career is not only your livelihood but must also satisfy a person's emotional and intellectual wants and needs. Very often, people cannot take up a career of their choice due to financial problems or other constraints. However, after a point of time, it becomes difficult to continue working on a job that you do not enjoy. A job change in the same career stream might not be the right solution. Hence, a change in career may be your only alternative.

People tend to change their career when they are bored, fed up, or unhappy with their current one. They prefer looking for a more rewarding profession, one that aligns better with their skills, interests and values.

As changing careers is a major decision, one has to seriously look at the possibilities and opportunities ahead before making a change. A smooth transition between careers is essential or else it can become traumatic. Keeping in mind a few tips will make the transition simpler and lead you in the right direction.

Make A Self-Assessment

This is the most important step to establish a workable career plan. Evaluate your experience, skills and interests in reference to work history, hobbies and volunteer experiences. Examine your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and areas of interest. This will help you to discover the direction you want to move in the future. Take online career assessment tests that help you discover the area of interests that you might not have been considered before.

Reason For The Change

After assessing yourself, try to find out why you need the change. There could be various reasons such as dislike for the employer or supervisor, limited growth opportunities, or just boredom of the job. If the problem is rectifiable, then the necessary measures should be taken; otherwise, a career change is necessary.

Create An Action Plan

Carefully map out a detailed action plan. Do not rush into a career change without giving proper thought and due consideration to aspects such as:

- Do you need more education?
- Do you need additional financial resources?
- Would an intermediate job or part-time job be necessary?

A Successful career change requires patience, as it sometimes takes a great deal of time to switch from one career to another.

Set Goals And Objectives

Discover your goals and objectives for the future and set a positive goal for your new field. Consider the possibilities for advancement in achieving your goal.

Make A List Of Possibilities

List careers based on your desires and skills. Seek advice from family, friends, colleagues, and career management professionals. Narrow the list down to a few and begin research on them, as this can give you a better perspective and understanding. Consider the pros and cons of each career type to get a specific choice to pursue. Examine your qualifications to see if you fit into the career you have decided upon.

Learn About The Desired Field

Learn more about the field that interests you. Read magazines, attend conferences and talk to people in the desired field. Find out whether the desired industry has growth potential.

Influence

Do not let others influence you to change your career. Take the advice of other people, but make your own decision if you are choosing a new career.

Choose somebody to help you with the process of changing your career so that you have help when you get discouraged or confused. Preferably, look for a professional who can keep you focused and upbeat. These professionals can help you in identifying new fields and applying for new jobs.

You should keep in mind that you might have to compromise on your salary or job title. Hence, you should be flexible about employment status, relocation and salary.

Changing your career can be an exciting and self-awakening experience, and can help you realize your true potential.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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