There are some vital things to consider before embarking on an exciting career change. Whilst once there was a time when people would get a job in a company and remain there for life, people nowadays often embark on two, three or even more career changes in their lifetime. There are, however, some important things to think about before quitting your job and pursuing that dream of opening a cake decorating business (other careers are available). So here are some things to ponder over before that exciting career change.
Well, it's not really. I don't believe money can make you happy, but it's important to think about finances before setting sail on the career change ocean, where you're likely to come across choppy waters on the journey ahead. There are many financial factors to consider, for example, can you afford it right now? Perhaps you have some savings you could use to retrain and to cover your living expenses. Could you take out a loan to fund the course you would like to take? Remember to think about the repayments on a loan and how much interest you will have to pay. Will you be giving up benefits in your current position, for example medical and pension? What about child care expenses? Sometimes it's possible to work part time whilst retraining for your new career, which could alleviate some of the financial pressure that comes with leaving a full time position. Think carefully about all of these things and more importantly, discuss your ideas about this exciting career change with your nearest and dearest.
It's good to have goals and something to work towards. The classic question is, where is it you would like to be in five years' time? If you're working towards opening up your own business, a business plan is essential. Having goals will keep you on track on the career change journey, which is important in order to remain motivated and to help stay focused along the way.
Think about what the reasons are for your change in direction. Is it something you have always dreamed of doing but never had the courage? Are you doing it because you hate your current job or because you long to do something else? Consult web forums and read books about the career you're pursuing. Speak to people who do the job and get some practical experience by volunteering or interning. The last thing you want is to jump feet first into something without knowing as much as possible about it.
Sometimes, life finds us instead of the other way round and we find ourselves falling into a job. Before we know it, ten years have passed and we find that we haven't really been pursuing our dreams, either through fear or a feeling that we had to follow a certain path. Remember, we're only here once and it's important to do something that you love, so find your passion and pursue it relentlessly. It's always possible to turn that hobby you love into a career!
It's important to speak to your family before you make the leap, as you will need their support along the way. There will probably be moments where you think, "Have I done the right thing?" but it's important to remember why you did it in the first place. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and sometimes it's easier to meander through life in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction than it is to actually make the change.
It's important to identify the skills you already have and the skills you will need. What skills do you have which you have developed in your current job? Many skills are transferable, so think about ways you can use the skills you already have in your dream job. Perhaps you have customer service experience or project management skills. Whatever they are, write them all down and think about everything you have to offer in this new career. Also, think about what it is YOU would like from a new job. What aspects of your current role do you love and will you find that in your next role? Do you love working with people as part of a team, or do you prefer working independently? These are also important things to consider.
Networking is essential and nowadays it doesn't just involve going to social gatherings, although these are important. It's amazing how small the world is, and merely chatting to people you know online about your plans may land you the perfect volunteering or intern opportunity. So spread the word, guys!
Think about whether you're ready for the journey ahead. Preparing yourself mentally will ensure you're equipped with the tools needed to succeed. It's an exciting journey ahead but not always an easy one. First and foremost, enjoy it and don't be debilitated by fear. One of my favorite quotes is by George Burns, who said, "I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate." If there's something you would love to do but haven't quite found the courage, then the only person stopping you is yourself. Has anyone embarked on an exciting career change? What advice would you give to others thinking about changing their career?
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