1) Make sure you actually want to change career – evaluate what it is you don’t like about your current situation – the job itself, the organisation, its culture, or even your boss? It might be that you actually like the role or industry so should look for a similar job at a different organisation.
2) Understand what motivates you – what really makes you come alive? Look at what you enjoy doing outside work - what are you passionate about? Now try to apply that to a career. Ask friends to describe you as well as they often see things we don’t.
3) Focus on your strengths and understand your weaknesses – psychometric tests are a great way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Instead of trying to overcome your weaknesses, leave the things you’re not good at to someone who is and focus on your strengths.
4) Identify that dream job – match your motivations, strengths, preferred working styles and goals to specific roles, industries, and types of organisations (small or large, public or private, entrepreneurial or traditional etc.)
5) Write a plan – actually putting something down on paper makes it real and forces you to think about how you are going to achieve it. Write down your career objectives with realistic targets.
6) Get your finances in order – often people start their career shift journey but then go back to their original roles when money gets tight. Your shift may involve a pay cut, so ensure you have enough money to tide you over.
7) Surround yourself with success stories – not only are they are a great source of inspiration but they’ve done it themselves so are also a great source of ideas and practical tips.
8) Be positive – instead of focusing on what you don’t have (lack of experience, resources), focus on what you do have (passion, commitment). There may be obstacles in your path; rather than viewing them as insurmountable, ask yourself what you need to do to surpass them?
9) Don’t let rejection get you down – whatever your career change, you are going to get rejected at some point and most likely at the beginning. View every no as one step closer to a yes.
10) Do something today (and every day) – the hardest part can be getting started so do something towards your goal today. And it’s easy to get sidetracked or give up, so give yourself a task each day to keep you on track.
Are you happy in your job or thinking of a career change? Want to switch careers but afraid of the risk? Share your thoughts, dilemmas and experiences below.