If you are looking for a career change, to a profession or industry that is more fulfilling, more rewarding, more in line with your interests and skills, you should prepare well in advance. There are a number of things to think about before you get started on your career change.
Here are some tips on making an effective and well-thought-out career change.
First, make sure your plan is clear. Treat your transition just as you would an important road trip. Map it out carefully, taking stock of your finances, as well as the education and training that you will need to have to succeed in your new career. Keep in mind that it is far more important to exercise patience that it is to act impetuously. Remember that old saying, "Act in haste, repent at leisure."
Your career change must wait for just the right time. If, for example, your career change is to an industry or career about which you know little or in which you have had little experience, you might consider volunteering part time in the career while you keep your current job with its steady pay check. You might also consider a short term internship in your chosen new field, or hire yourself out as a consultant or freelancer for a few hours a week just to test these new career waters.
Your career change must be done for the right reasons. Being unsatisfied in your current job doesn't mean a career change is necessary. It may be that a job change in the same field may be all thats needed. Perhaps you just need some additional training to make another step up the career ladder in your current field and even with your current employer. No matter what change you make in this world, career or otherwise its generally wise to take baby steps first to test the waters. Making a small change to see if that results in satisfaction is the best recourse. You should also talk to career counsellors and people in the career to which you are consider a change. Take some self assessment or career evaluation tests to determine if you are right for the career that you are considering. You may find that a career change is a good move for you - but to a career that you hadn't even thought of.
Take a good long look at yourself. Make a list of your likes, your dislikes, your skills, your beliefs, your interests and your values. Determine the money you need to make to be financially comfortable.
Don't forget, in your zeal for a career change, to find out what experience and education that new career will require. Perhaps an entry level or mid-management job in the industry would be open to you now but you are looking for something more responsible. Might it not be better to get your education now Or perhaps that new employer would help you through school if you come on board at a lower level than you ultimately desire
All these things must be considered as you think about a career change. Determining that you need to make the change might not be as important as determining when and how.