The prospect of leaving a long-term job and starting a new career is certainly daunting, not to mention overwhelming. It’s very simple to stay in a position that is comfortable but uninteresting, or where you are well compensated but unlikely to advance. The hard part is committing to change.
There are plenty of reasons why you might be looking to change your career, and it is not always because you are necessarily unhappy in your job. Quite often refreshing your career appeals to you because you are ambitious, confident, and focused. So you may want to start a new profession as an apprentice, retrain and acquire new abilities, or discover a job that includes on-the-job training. However you want to do it, there are a few things to think about before making the transition.
List Your Assets
It’s now or never to reflect upon your present situation and take stock of what you’ve accomplished so far. You should be extremely proud of all you’ve accomplished in your professional life, but you also need to be honest. Make a list of all your greatest assets and see whether they fit the profession you’d like to pursue.
There are several potential sources of advice out there, so don’t be afraid to ask them. On a local level, you’ll find careers advising services that provide specialized assistance to individuals of all ages. You should also seek out individuals and organizations from the sector you’re researching in order to learn whether this is a good fit for you.
It’s also possible that you’ve had a long-term ambition to work in a certain sector, but circumstances change. So speak to individuals and conduct your own research; read job ads, get assistance with applications, and most importantly, determine whether this is the profession for you.
Open Your Mind to New Experiences
Taking the leap into a new career will involve lots of new experiences, so you need to mentally prepare yourself for this and make sure you are ready. You will have to update your CV for the first time in a few years, and hopefully, you will have your first interview too. You might also want to undertake some vocational training to evaluate your skills and figure out what career is best for you. It can be like going back to school when you get a new job or a retraining opportunity; there will be excitement and nerves, but you must embrace it since learning to think in this way is an essential step in the process.
Starting afresh with new people and a new organisation is an opportunity to be more positive about yourself and promote yourself differently. First impressions are very important and now that you are out of your comfort zone, this could be a good time to polish your image. This can be as small as buying a smart item of clothing or getting an overdue haircut. This is all about presenting yourself in the best possible light and taking a confident step forward.
Redefining yourself can also come from within. If there’s something you’ve always struggled with such as confidence or public speaking, this might now be the time to address that. For some people, night classes or online programs can help target these struggles. A new career can be a great motivator for personal growth!
Establish What is Important
Before you decide on the next step, you need to work out what your priorities are. Particularly, why you are leaving your current job. Is it the work itself that you dislike? Do you dislike any of the individuals there? Do you require additional money? Do you want to take on more responsibilities? Or do you simply wish to have more freedom? If so, you might want to consider working part-time, becoming self-employed or freelancing. It’s important to ask yourself whether a new career will resolve your issues with your current job. You don’t want to go through the emotional stress of changing careers, only to make the wrong decision. Establishing what’s important to you will ensure that you’re on the right track!
For more advice on starting a new career, take a look at Refreshing a Career! Or explore our specialist jobs board for new opportunities!