How to Change Careers Gracefully

Posted by | August 26, 2012 | Tips For Job Seekers

Gone are the days where workers stay in the same job at the same company out of sheer loyalty for their entire working life. What drives employees today is more than just income – its about having opportunities that can offer personal satisfaction and growth. If a shift in a new career direction is something you need, here are some tips to get you on the right path:

Research and reflect.

Changing careers is a move that needs to be researched and planned. Spend some quality time researching the new career choice and developing plans for the future. Evaluate your transferrable strengths and skills. Don’t limit yourself to work experiences, consider all types of activities and life experiences.

Part of the process is figuring out your definition of career success. Ask yourself what makes you happy and identify what you are passionate about. Understand what you don’t like about your current situation so that you don’t duplicate it.

Try it out.

Although you may think that you’ve discovered your ideal job, you will never know if it is a fit for you unless you try it out first. Try a part-time job or explore volunteer opportunities to feel out the new career. This will help you out immensely down the road by saving you unnecessary investments in time and educational upgrades.

Network.

Networking is a great way to find out what is going on in the industry you want to break in to – switching from one industry to the next means knowing a whole new language. Find ways to connect with people who are already doing the job you are interested in doing. Interview them to find out if the job is really what you want to do. Contacts you’ve made through volunteering, internships or part-time jobs can also provide valuable insight and opinions for your job search. Use your networks to hear about opportunities that may not be advertised.

Be flexible.

The most important tip – stay open, curious and flexible as you navigate towards your new career. A career change can be intimidating but remain confident, stay focused and be tenacious. A career change doesn’t happen overnight, but you will get there with commitment and motivation!

~ Jennee Rasavong is an administrative professional and a freelance Writer.

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