Transitioning career can seem like a big step but it doesn’t have to be scary if it is planned properly. I should know, I have changed career twice and the second time was a lot smoother thanks to the knowledge of the dos and don’ts I acquired during the first one. Here are the first things I gave serious thought to:
You cannot get away from this one. After all, if you didn’t need money chances are you would be lying on a beach in the Caribbean, leisurely sipping your favourite tipple. But you do need money and your current job, although not where you want to be is your safety net.
If safety was all you came in this life to achieve then you wouldn’t be considering a more fulfilling career that would make you happy to be alive every Monday morning knowing that you do something that makes a difference, something that matters to you.
I’m not suggesting that you hand in your notice in the next few days or even the next few weeks, but what I am suggesting is start putting something aside for your planned transition. Changing career doesn’t have to be uncomfortable but it requires careful planning. Saving up for some training or to invest in a start-up is wise and shows that your move is not impulsive but a well thought out process.
SLOWLY DOES IT
If making a transition seems daunting, you could consider taking smaller steps towards your goal over a period which will help you ease into a new career. For example, going part-time with your old job while you allow yourself time to figure out your next steps is a good idea. It also removes the desperation of trying to make it in something new fast when you don’t yet have the clarity and experience.
DON’T TAKE YOUR OLD SELF WITH YOU
Have an honest conversation with yourself and examine why you want to make the move. Is it because you wish to spend your days doing something more meaningful or because you don’t like the people that you work with?
If your planned move is because you have that inner calling to find fulfilment, then this is something positive. If on the other hand you feel unhappy and no matter what you do in your job you don’t seem to get a break, then make sure that you’re not just running away from problems that can be solved by talking things through.
When you try to end your problems by leaving a situation, you find that they reappear somewhere else. You leave the old, bad situation but you take your old self with you.
As we go through life, we seem to pick up issues that we need to resolve. We acquire certain programming from our childhood which results in us attracting situations and running through similar patterns repeatedly until we learn how to resolve them.
Before you embark on your new career, you need to sell it to your family as they will be the ones who have to support you during the challenging times of transition. Also consider how you can make you new direction fit in with your family commitments. Do you need to ask someone for support or practical help with children or elderly relatives? Does your partner need to make changes to a busy work schedule to share the load?
When thinking about your skills and experience, make sure you include all those unpaid fun activities that you have enjoyed in the past as those might be holding the key to your next career. We excel when we do what we love and your past activities that you did not even consider as work might reveal your future success.
If you also have something you think would give you joy but haven’t yet tested it then voluntary work might be your answer. When you’re willing to do something for free then you’ve already proved that your motivation will be sky high if someone hires you.