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7 Tips For Changing Careers

by Nathan Zachary

Thinking about making a careers change this year?

You are not alone.

Recent studies show that more than half of all U.S. workers are considering making a career change this year. For some, there’s financial motivation. For some, it’s the effect that COVID-19 had on their current careers. For others, it’s the search for a better work/life balance or simply the need to do something different.

So how does one go about ditching one career in favor of a new one?

Here are seven tips for changing careers successfully that you can put into an action plan now.  

1. Assess Your Current Situation

Some people think they want to change careers but what they really want to change is their job.

Before you embark on a brand new venture, ask yourself if it’s the career you don’t like or the company you currently work for.

Write down what it is that you like and dislike about your current position. With company-specific concerns (i.e. I hate my boss), you might want to find a similar role with a new company rather than chart a brand new career path.

2. Research the Career You Think You Want

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Before you quit your job, take the time to research and learn everything you can about the new career that you want.

Don’t make the mistake of entering a field that could become obsolete in 20 years. For example, experts anticipate that travel agents, bank tellers, legal secretaries, and some manual laborers will be replaced by automation and AI in the next decade or two.

Checkout this article for thetop 15 jobs that could become obsolete by 2030.

3. Make Sure You Can Afford the Switch

A career change often comes with a reduction in salary. Depending on where you are in your current career, this could mean resorting to an entry-level salary or make drastically less than you already do.

Before you make a major career change, assess you financial situation.

Do you have enough savings to sustain your lifestyle if you earn less for the next five years?

Have you provided the financial protection of life insurance and disability insurance for your family and dependents?

While everyone has auto insurance and homeowners or renters insurance, life insurance and disability income insurance policies aren’t mandated by law, which means a lot of people don’t have them. Yet they are two of the best ways to protect your finances and provide financial stability for yourself and your loved ones.

Checkout this article about COMDEX ratings to learn how they can help you choose the best policies from the best financial institutions.

4. Consider Finding a New Position in the Same Industry

Making a career change can be a bit easier if you stay within the industry you already know.

For example, let’s say you’re currently working as a marketing director at an ecommerce retailer and your new career goal is to become a writer. You may find it easier to get hired as a product copywriter for an ecommerce retailer than as a medical writer for the pharmaceutical or healthcare industry.

5. Learn New Skills

While technical skills may not translate from industry to industry or career to career, soft skills do. Soft skills, such as great communication skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills, are useful in all careers.

If your soft skills are lacking, develop them now before you shift your career focus. If your soft skills are top-notch, be sure to include them on your resume.

Should your new career require technical skills that you don’t have, you may need to seek further education or training.

6. Create a Plan

Map out a plan, set some clear goals and create a course of action goals for how and when you want to make your career change. This might require working another year to set aside more savings. It might include taking online courses to learn some new skills. It could involve obtaining a certification that’s necessary to apply for positions in a new field.

Making a career change can be stressful, but having a well-constructed plan can ease some of that burden.  

7. Network

One of the best ways to segue into a new career is to tap into the network of colleagues who know how you performed in your last career. Whether you’re looking to make a job change or a career change, your professional network can be an invaluable resource.

In Conclusion

The thought of changing careers can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you.

It can be done!

As long as you have the skills, the financial stability, and a solid understanding of what your next career involves, you can successfully change careers at any age. 

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