7 Key Steps for a Successful Career Change

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Career Change|7 Key Steps for a Successful Career ChangeNo matter the branch of career you work in, there may come a time in your working life that you decide you’re not as satisfied with your job as you used to be.

When that happens, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the different aspects of this revelation and try to find out whether a career change is a good option for you moving forward.

Here, we discuss why people may want to change their career paths, what benefits it has, and how you, too, can successfully change your career path using these seven key steps.

Why People Change Careers

There may be many reasons why someone would want to change their career. These include:

  • Wanting a new challenge and career advancement opportunities
  • Experiencing burnout and too much stress
  • Having a better work-life balance
  • Desiring better pay

Benefits of a Career Change

After weighing your options and deciding that a career change is the best possibility for you, you will see that changing your work path has several benefits.

According to a Joblist survey, people who changed their career paths were happier, more satisfied, more stimulated/fulfilled, and tended to be less stressed in their lives.

How to Change Your Career Path

1. Assess your current job satisfaction

If you’re unsure whether it’s just a bad day at work or whether it’s time to change your whole work path, take a closer look at your current position in your industry.

Make a note of everything you like and dislike about your job, and notice any recurring themes that please or displease you.

Is your issue with the people you work with, your boss, or the overall way your current company or industry works?

2. Take an inventory of your skills, interests, and goals

This step is arguably the most important. Getting to know yourself and your abilities and interests is essential to ensure you’re making the right decision to change your whole career or industry.

The best way to do this is to make a personal inventory with psychological tests such as the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment that helps you understand what you like and dislike and incorporate your best skills in finding the right career path and activities.

Doing something you’re good at, and enjoy, is often the missing component that derives people into burnout and eventually career path change.

3. Decide if you want to change your industry or occupation

Sometimes, the answer to all your work-related problems can be found if instead of changing your whole career path, you simply change your occupation in the field.

For instance, a programmer that switches to marketing in the tourism and leisure industry is only changing their occupation, but if a retail worker employed in the makeup industry becomes a project manager for a tourism and leisure industry, they’ve changed their career.

4. Check out job options and brainstorm careers

After you’ve decided on changing your career, start brainstorming what type of career will suit you best. Evaluate your skills and values and note what you like and dislike about each career option.

If you’re finding it hard to come up with options that suit you and your core values and skills the best, try seeking help from family, friends, and other professionals in the field. Networking can go a long way.

You can try career counseling as well to help you figure out your skill sets and advantages you can bring to a certain career path.

5. Narrow the list down

You’ve found a list of potential new careers that will be a great fit with your work and lifestyle. Next, try to narrow down the options by listing all the different aspects of each field and career, both positive and negative.

Research each category thoroughly, and if possible, ask industry professionals about the pros and cons of the field.

After that, you should be left with a shortlist of a few neat options you can consider for your future change.

6. Take classes and upgrade your skills

When a career change is concerned, it’s important to know what you don’t know! Changing your job may require minimum alterations, but swapping careers will require you to seek new knowledge and skills you haven’t yet used before.

Don’t be afraid of not knowing; that’s how everyone starts. Take classes related to your new field and upgrade the skills you’re going to need.

7. Try your target field as a volunteer or freelancer

Before jumping into the field as a full-time employee, you need to make sure the new career and field is everything you expected.

A great way to test the waters before you commit to the change is to find volunteer or freelance work in the same market or industry. Try to carefully analyze what you experience during those few weeks or days, and note anything and everything that may make you change your mind about the decision. Be transparent with yourself.

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