“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius
No longer enjoying what you’re currently doing? Looking for a career change? Whatever the reason, pursuing a new career path can be quite daunting. There are many reasons for changing careers, and as we continue to work longer, changing careers is something that more and more people are doing more than ever before. No matter what your age or situation, it is never too late to start!
5 essential steps for changing your career
- Identify your interests – what do you love to do?
Now that you have decided you want to explore a new career path, you need to ask yourself the questions – why and what. Why are you seeking change? What are you passionate about? What is it that you love to do? Identifying your interests is the most important step in changing your career, to ensure that you make the best decision for you. Create a ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ list of roles, and the culture and environment that you want to work in. This will help you understand what you should steer clear from and what you should be heading towards. This is where you will explore and begin to empower yourself as you start envisioning what you want – giving you a strong, clear vision of your dream career.
- Do your research
Doing your research is the next step to making your vision a reality. Once you have identified your interests – research until you have explored all your alternatives and have all your questions answered. Research prospective roles that you would consider applying for and understand what they involve and the qualifications required. This is crucial in order to better understand the path you are taking and to make decisions in the next step – filling the skills gap. Find out who/what providers can help you get your dream career, connect to contacts in the industry to get first hand insights and advice, and attend any relevant industry events.
From all your research, outline the path you will take going forward.
- Fill the skills gap
Although you might be passionate and interested in your new chosen career path, you also need to have and/or be willing to acquire the skills required for you to be successful in your new career. Assess your current skill set and think about where the gaps are. Whether you’re taking a big leap in starting something completely new, need to upskill, or broaden your knowledge for your dream career, there are plenty of options out there for you to look into to best suit you. If you are still not 100% about your decision, start with short courses or workshops to help you discover what area of the industry you like best. Whether you enrol part-time or full-time in an online course, on-campus course, attend a few short courses or workshops; you are taking the next step to achieve your goal and will enter your new career with confidence.
- Get experience
While you’re getting skilled, take the next step and start getting experience in your industry. Getting a casual or part-time job, volunteering or freelancing will give your CV the lift it needs to keep you on track for your new career. It will also give you the confidence and hands-on experience to give you a clearer understanding on how the industry works, and the opportunity to network. By stepping out of your comfort zone and getting experience in the transition period you’ll be open to new opportunities. You will meet like-minded and experienced individuals in the industry who are able to provide you with advice, and in some cases you could possibly land your dream job through the people you meet either directly or indirectly.
- Take action – do what you love, love what you do!
This is where your dreams turn into a reality. This step can be the most daunting of all, but to continue pursuing your dream career you have to keep moving and continue to put one foot in front of the other. Explore the many opportunities out there and set out to land your dream job! Even when things seem difficult, remember not to give up because “it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” – Confucius.
When you reflect in this stage, all your achievements both professional and personal make the transformation and the leap to step out of your comfort zone very worthwhile.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” — Steve Jobs