7 Steps to a Successful Career Change
Most people don’t stay in the same career for all of their life. Whether you’re currently working in a career that you feel that you have grown out of, only started in order to make ends meet or have decided that you want to do something more meaningful when it comes to work, you are not alone. Many people do not realize their passions and goals until later in life, and your interests can change at any time. Switching from a career that you are familiar with to doing something different can be a daunting experience, but it’s also very rewarding. The good news is that today there are more options available than ever before to ensure that your career change goes smoothly.
Put a Plan in Place
Consider the career that you want to do and put together a plan for how you are going to get there. Think about any qualifications that you’re going to need to get along the way to take you to your career goals, and how you are going to achieve this. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources that you might like to consider for career changers including websites and blogs that you might find helpful. It’s also worth looking for online resources on the career that you’re considering switching to, to get more information on what you’ll need to get there and if there are any alternative options to consider that might be a better fit for you.
How Qualified Are You?
It’s important to consider the qualifications that you already have and determine how they might fit into your plans to change your career. If you want to change to a career that is in some ways similar to the work that you do now, you might find that the qualifications that you have will work to get you into most degree programs or other study options available to help you reach your ultimate career goal. On the other hand, if you are looking to change your career to something completely different, you may need to get new qualifications starting right from the bottom.
Research Study Options
Most people do not have the luxury of giving up work altogether while they train for a new career. If you have chosen a career that is going to require you to get a college degree to enter, then you can expect to be retraining for a minimum of four years, with some exceptions. For example, if you want to get into nursing and already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you might want to consider an accelerated BSN that will allow you to qualify as a nurse in half the time. When researching your options for studying, think about how it is going to fit around your current career and whether you’ll need to reduce your hours or make changes to your lifestyle to accommodate your studies.
Consider Studying Online
Online study is by far one of the most popular options for career changers, since it offers a greater level of flexibility compared to studying on campus. Today, you can get an online degree in almost any subject, making them the ideal choice for people who want to have a change of scenery when it comes to their work. Since online degree programs can be taken online and at times that suit you best, they can easily fit around working full-time and take some of the stress and pressure off you by allowing you to continue working and earning money as normal while studying to change your career.
Consider Career Opportunities
Think about the career that you want to do and what the opportunities are like in your area. Will you easily be able to find work once you have retrained and qualified? Or, are you considering retraining so that you can move away and find work in a certain area? If it’s the latter, then you’ll need to consider any location-specific requirements for working in this field, such as state licensure or permits.
Future Career Advancement
Consider where you want your new career to take you. Are you happy with retraining and working at the entry-level, or have you got your sights set on something more? If you are planning on working your way up the career ladder once you have qualified in your new career choice, it’s important to put a plan in place for how you are going to achieve this. A long-term plan divided into smaller, achievable goals is the best way to ensure that you hit your ultimate goals over time. For example, if you want to work as a neonatal nurse practitioner, it’s worth researching neonatal nurse practitioner schools like Baylor University to find out what the entry requirements are and determine your first goal to reach.
Develop Your Skills
Changing your career is not all about getting the right qualifications to work in your new area. You will also need to consider the most sought-after skills in your new chosen field and work on developing them. Think about the skills that you have developed so far in your current field; even if it is vastly different from your chosen new career, you might find that you have developed many great transferable skills that you can bring with you into any field or industry. Spend some time researching the skills that are required to succeed in your chosen new career and determine which ones you need to work on the most. Participate in activities that will help you build on these skills, whether that’s volunteering your time, taking short online courses, reading, or simply practicing tasks where these skills are employed so that you can improve and fine-tune them.
Today, changing your career is easier than ever with a wealth of online degree programs and adult learning opportunities to choose from. Whatever your reasons for wanting to change your career, having a long-term plan in place is key to succeeding and hitting your goals.