Many of us have had multiple careers over the course of our lives. Some of those careers have been good and others may not have been what was expected. When you’re considering a career change there are some important things you need to do before making a career change.
When considering a career change, these three things should be explored first.
- Research to learn more about the new career
- Talk to people that are working in the career you desire
- Get educated to obtain skills for the new career
Taking some time to explore these three tips can help you avoid going into a career that isn’t what you actually imagined. Before you invest the time and the money in transitioning on a new career path, take the time to perform these crucial steps because they can make the difference between success or failure when you desire a career change.
Research to learn more about the new career
Before you try to make a career change, one of the first things you need to do is research, research, research. The reason why you do so much research is because you need to learn as much as you can about the new career and what it takes to get into it to be successful.
In order to learn more about what’s required for a new career, review current job descriptions in that career. Reviewing job descriptions gives you more insight into the types of skills you’ll need to possess and the tasks you’ll be expected to perform.
Review job descriptions on websites like:
After you’ve reviewed a few job descriptions you’ll know exactly what companies are looking for in candidates. This helps you get a step ahead of the competition and strategize your time when transitioning into a new career.
Just switching into a new career doesn’t automatically mean that you will be successful or even as successful as others already in the career. But the more research you do to have an understanding of what’s required for a career change will make a difference.
Search the internet, read books, watch videos, and attend community job events focused on the new career. You need to do as much research as you possibly can to get as much information as you have access to. The more information the better.
Talk to people already working in the career you desire
Another way to explore if a new career you’ve been looking at is worth your time, is to talk to people that are currently in the career that you desire. Talking to people that are already doing this work gives you an inside perspective on the career.
You will learn things you may not learn through your initial research. You learn important things such as interpersonal dynamics, pitfalls to avoid, best places to get training, and much more. Talking with someone who’s been working in that career is providing the inside scoop on what it takes to get into the career but to also be successful once you’re doing the job.
Professional groups are a great way to connect with people already in the career of your interest. Professional groups are a place for professionals in the same industry to share their insight, knowledge, and ask for guidance. Professional groups include a collection of individuals that have been in the career for various lengths of time and have different levels of real world experience. These groups allow you to broaden your knowledge as well as network with others.
Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to join and connect within these professional groups right from your home. These groups give you another platform to research a career as well as seek feedback directly from other individuals doing what you want to do in the future.
When you sign up for LinkedIn, there’s a section called Groups. In this area search for groups associated with the career of your interest.
Talking to people that are working in that career, may provide you an opportunity to find a mentor. A mentor can help you identify next steps and possibly save you a lot of valuable time so that you focus on the things that you need to focus on in order to take advantage of the new career.
Get educated to obtain skills for the new career
A new career might require you to learn a new set of skills that you don’t already possess. If you don’t know what those new skills are then you won’t even know that you need to obtain them. When you do the research and talk to people already working in the career, it will help you to identify the additional education and skills you will need.
Once you have access to training and education, sign up! Some may cost you money and others will be free. You’ve got to make the effort to get the education and skills required so that you can succeed in the new career.
Websites where you can obtain free or low cost training and education include:
Coursera is an educational platform that provides courses, certification and degree programs from top universities and companies at affordable prices. Several courses are available for no cost. A certificate of completion is provided when a course or certification program is completed.
Skillsoft provides access to tools, courses, and videos to help strengthen existing skills and to learn new skills. Learners have 24/7 access to course materials so learning can happen any time of the day. Learners can pay for monthly access for $29 or annual access for $299. You can try Skillsoft for free for 14 days before being charged to use the service.
Udemy is one of the largest learning platforms available on the internet serving over 40 million learners. Udemy is a learning platform used by multiple large and successful organizations to train their workforce and it is also available to individuals as well. Courses are available for as low as $10 and can be as expensive as $199.
Wanting to explore a new career is an awesome opportunity to grow and learn new things that you’ve never done before. However, wanting to have a new career will require you to learn as much as possible about that career, talk to people who are working in that career, and getting the education and skills that you need in order to succeed in that career.
There is no magic formula, but it just takes time and effort. You can use these tips no matter the career you’re attempting to explore. Don’t step out there and attempt to go into a new career without having done the work necessary to learn as much as you can about the career before making the transition.
If you’ve been thinking about a career change, now is the perfect time to take advantage. There are so many options and opportunities to connect with people currently doing the work that you desire or to get the education and skills that you need. I wish you good luck and know that if you do the things that I have identified you’re more likely to be able to explore the career of your dreams.