Top 5 Tips for a Successful Career Change  

Are you thinking about changing your career?  If you are in your 30s, 40s, or even 50s, it is not unlikely that you have gone through this in the past or are going through this now.  In our current day, career change is not only a possibility, but a likelihood. Most people not only have more than one job during their life time but they also have more than one career.

It can be very intimidating to change careers mid-life though.  You just don’t know how it is going to go.  You might second guess yourself or be unsure about whether it is the right direction for you.

If you have a plan, you can increase your chance of having a successful career change.  Consider your steps carefully, do some research and you’ll find that the transition goes much smoother.

Here are 5 tips that will help make your career change successful.

1. Know Who You Are

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When you’re young, you often don’t know yourself as well but by the time you are making a career change you should know yourself pretty well.  Before deciding what career you will endeavor ask  yourself some questions like:

  • What motivates you?
  • What kinds of challenges do you prefer?
  • Do you like to work on your own or with a team?
  • Do you prefer variety or repetitiveness?
  • Do you prefer a social environment or a quiet one?

Once you  have considered these questions and others, you can better evaluate what kind of career would suit you best.

2. Know Your Skills

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Make a big list of your skills and then ask yourself, which of your skills are transferrable?  Most people have transferrable skills that they have never even thought of.  These are skills that can be used in a variety of ways and in different types of jobs.  Some people call them essential skills.  If you can show that you are highly skilled in certain areas that can be transferred to an entirely different career, you may not even need additional training.

For example, computer skills are transferrable.  In fact, if you have computer skills it demonstrates that you can learn other computer skills.  If you were able to learn one kind of software program, chances are that learning others will not be a big challenge for you.  Other highly sought transferrable skills include communication skills, numeracy, and document use.

3. Know Your Career Goals

Why are you planning a career change?  If you don’t know, it is time to think about that.  If your current/past career is not fulfilling you, why not?  By understanding your goals, you will be able to choose a new career to begin that will be more likely to leave you satisfied.

4. Know Your Jobs Options

When you have narrowed down your career choices, look into the options for jobs within that career.  What companies are hiring?  Do some research on those companies.  What kinds of jobs are available to those seeking a future in your career?  You’ll spend less time job hunting if you do the work ahead of time and seek out the job options in your potential career.

5. Know What is Realistic

What can you expect from the job market? Are people hiring for the career you are considering?  Will you need to get some training before entering the market?  Does the kind of career you want to enter require certifcations?

Career change is not only possible –it is expected.  It is rare these days for one person to have only one career.  If you think ahead and plan for your career change, you can have a nice and smooth transition.



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