Making a career change to pursue your “dream job” is not an easy call. To start a new career from scratch can be overwhelming and extremely risky. Throwing away everything you’ve built in your current career path takes a lot of courage and determination. But, that doesn’t mean you should play safe for the rest of your life. It’s still possible to make a career switch without giving everything up if you make the right moves.
Here are some tips to make a career change without losing everything:
1. Make use of your background
Leverage some of your current work experiences and transferable skills to you new career. There are many skills from soft skills, interpersonal skills, to conflict management and leadership skills that are transferable and applicable to your next career. You may be surprised to know that you don’t have to start from scratch and that you already have a substantial amount of experience for a different industry.
2. Research your options
If you’ve decided to leave your current career, it’s important to research the types of careers that you want to venture into before resigning. Discover your passion and the things you find meaningful. Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel unsure during the career change process. After all, it could be one of the biggest decisions you have to make in your life as it concerns your livelihood and financial security.
The amount of research you should do depends on how much of a change you’re making. Research online or talk to people who are in the industry to get as much information as possible. Make sure you know what you’re in for and be prepared for it.
3. Get the experience
No matter how many years of working experience you have up your sleeves, remember that you’re still starting a new career. It might be difficult if you’re still holding a full-time job, but try to take a part-time job or volunteering in your new career field. A career change is never an easy task but if you’re serious about it, be ready to put in the effort required to make it happen. If getting a side job is too much for you, try to sign up for some relevant online courses to get the fundamental knowledge first.
4. Moving internally
If it’s an option, you may consider to stay with the same employer but change to a different role. However, be mindful about this as not many employers are okay with this sort of arrangement. It takes a progressive mind to think that once happy employees can be happy and be willing to contribute again but in a different role. Make sure you are completely ready before making the request and be prepared for any possible outcomes.
5. Get familiar with job hunting
If you have been out of touch with the job hunting world, it’s time to refresh your job-hunting skills and explore more job search portals. For starter, read up as many job search tips and interview tips as possible. Try to get a good idea of what the current hiring trends are and what to watch out for.
6. Be realistic and flexible
You should have realistic goals and be flexible about almost everything – from your job title to salary and relocation. Be ready for change and adjust your expectations accordingly. Don’t be discouraged by the setbacks, have a position outlook on things instead. Focus on the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate goal of doing something that you truly love.
One of the most important aspects in a career change is your abilities to network with people. You might have people in your social network who have job leads, offer you valuable advice or insight about a particular industry, and introduce you to the right people. Start with your close friends, family members or relatives, and ex-colleagues. Slowly expand your network by participating in networking sessions or tap into your college alumni connection.