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Some of us fall into our jobs without thinking too much about what would make us happiest and most fulfilled. While your job shouldn't be the only one that makes you feel good, there is no denying that what you do for work has a significant impact on your life.
If you've been in the same industry for a while but feel like this isn't your true calling, you are not alone. The average American changes careers five to seven times in their lifetime, and 30 percent change jobs or careers every 12 months. This type of common disorder may not be ideal for long-term stability, but an occasional change can be ideal for living your best life.
With the pandemic in full swing, many industries are finding it difficult to stay afloat. Perhaps your industry is one of them, and to look out for your future and the future of your family, you may think it is time to advance your career.
Related: 7 Sure Signs Now is the time to change your career
Whatever your situation, making a career change can be a daunting leap. But if you are prepared you can handle anything. Here are six tips to help prepare for a career change and take a more authentic path.
1. Don't quit your job right away
It's one thing to hit while the swing is hot and another to remove your safety net just when you need it. If you are fortunate enough to be hired, keep that income on while you plan the perfect exit by staying in your current job and looking for a new one.
Some people believe quitting a job with no other prospects is the butt kick necessary to get seriously hired, but that's too risky right now. While you might feel nostalgic for your college days, living on ramen noodles, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches as an adult is no fun.
2. Research the industry you are interested in
What it takes to get a foot in the door in a new industry depends on the industry. Some jobs require specific certifications or even a different degree. Do some research on expectations so that you have a realistic chance of success.
Related: Do you have a business idea? 6 ways to research your industry
Another research focus is salary. Check out the statistics on the average salary base of the role you are considering to get an idea if this is financially realistic for maintaining your lifestyle or if you need a budget for a wage cut.
3. Find a local mentor
Finding a success story in the area you are pursuing can inspire you to keep going even when it seems difficult. As you follow a person's career path, you also get a blueprint to use to plan your route.
Find a thought leader in the field and learn as much as you can about their work experience. Perhaps they are guest posting and writing for credible publications about the industry you are interested in. If so, read the content they create and visit their company's website. We are all different and have our own unique paths to follow, but this approach gives you real insight into what it takes to be successful.
4. Complete the required coursework
If you need courses in industry-specific knowledge or want to qualify for jobs in the area you are interested in, you need to align the coursework with your existing work schedule. It's not easy, but there is a necessary balance that you need to find. Look for night classes, weekend classes, workshops, and other learning opportunities that allow you to learn what you need without adding a full-time school on top of full-time work. And if you have to work full-time, take comfort in the fact that many people have done so before you and have succeeded.
Related Topics: How Online Learning Will Change The Post Covid-19 Education System
When you have a spouse or partner willing to take on the bulk of your financial burden, make sure you plan and prepare for a reduced household income.
5. Refresh your resume
If you switch careers, your current resume is unlikely to reflect the right skills and experience you need for your desired role. But every job you have, whether it's related to your preferred job or not, gives you skills that will prepare you for new challenges.
Get creative with your resume and revise it to show how your current skills will make you a star in your new career. Then have someone you trust review your resume to see if you are missing anything.
6. Search for available jobs
Most of the career change process involves finding and applying for a job. Don't settle for job postings that don't sound like they are a great fit for your strengths or that don't align with your needs. Consider salary and benefit options so that you can be as selective as possible. If you apply for every job in the field you'd like to work, you might find a position that doesn't suit you well and you are back in first place.
Related: Do you want to switch careers?
Once you've found a job to apply for, add another post to your resume to make sure the skills you highlighted match the skills the job posters are looking for. Don't be discouraged if it takes a while to get your search going. The right opportunity is out there; All you have to do is keep applying.
What if i want to start my own business?
If changing jobs means starting your own business, you'll also need to create a business plan to translate your thoughts into actionable steps and determine what you want to achieve.
Make sure you research the market to understand potential risks. There is always a risk when starting your own business. And identify exactly the potential business mistakes you could make. You can never prepare enough, so take the time to research what starting your own business means. This will ensure that the decisions you have made are the right ones.
Starting a new journey is full of fear, uncertainty and excitement. But as long as you are prepared, your path will be a little less bumpy and worth a little more. Good luck. You can do it!
Related Topics: The Complete 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business