What comes to your mind when you consider changing career? What comes to mind when you think about changing careers?
Even in good times, changing careers can be difficult. Some people begin their journey by quitting their current job. Others may take a number of small steps to get on a different path.
According to the Pew Research Center’s survey conducted last year, Americans were most likely to quit their job in 2021 because of low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and disrespect at work. More than half of those quitting said that they had changed careers or fields.
If you are switching careers or exploring an interest you have always held, career coaches can offer some tips to help you make the transition.
1. Take a look at your current situation
If you are between jobs, changing careers will look different than if it is something that you do. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, it can seem impossible to change careers. But there are many ways to do so. Carlota ZEE, a career coach in New York City, advises that if you have just lost your job, it’s important to “give yourself some time to decompress before making big decisions.” She says that you may need to find a job quickly to keep afloat but it’s important to give yourself time to grieve.
2. Ask yourself 2 questions
First, why do you wish to switch careers? Write down your priorities as you think about the answer. In an email, Octavia Gordema, host and producer of “How to Change Careers” on Audible Originals, said: “Think of what you would like to do, where you feel comfortable, how your career should feel, and what success means to you.”
The second thing to consider is your willingness to put in the effort for a career change. Dana Theus of InPower Coaching, a leadership and executive coaching firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, says this. Do you really enjoy the thought of starting a career change? Making a change in career is full of anxiety and uncertainty. You will get through this with excitement. She says, “You want to go toward something and not run away from it.”
3. Do your research
You can get a close-up look at your ideal career. What are the requirements of the position? Which skills will you be able to transfer or build on? What is the range of salaries? How do you grow? What is the toughest part and what are the best parts? The first step is to do some online research, then talk with people who are in the profession you want. Find connections through social media, alumni groups in colleges, local business associations or virtual events.
4. Honesty is the best policy.
Theus advises that you should view your career as an investment, regardless of your financial status. It is important to accept that it will take some money and time to achieve your career change.
Goredema advises: “Determine how much risk you are willing to take and make decisions that match your risk tolerance.” Consider taking a few free courses or a low-cost course at your community college. You can also pay for a bootcamp in coding or pursue a degree.
5. Accept the curve of learning
It’s possible that you will have to begin at the very bottom in your field, with an entry level role. Three career experts advise you to be patient as you are learning the ropes. Surround yourself with supportive people. Gravitate towards people who share your enthusiasm for growth. Goredema says that when you are enthusiastic about your journey and believe in yourself, this becomes contagious.