It’s not uncommon to start off on one career path and want to move to another at some point. This can happen for many reasons, such as circumstances, lifestyle, financial needs, and shifts in beliefs and values. Women especially can be influenced to change careers when they start a family or enter into a new life season.
No matter what the reason, changing careers can be a little tricky and even cause some anxiety for just about anyone. Therefore, it’s important to know the steps to take to minimize fears, money loss, and lifestyle disruption. Here are several ways to successfully navigate a career change.
Consider the Cost to Change Careers
Life-altering changes can come with many benefits but also a price. Changing careers can throw a loop in finances from reduced wages. Additionally, you could add the expense of taking courses or finishing a degree to qualify for a new career. It’s important to know exactly what you and your family needs to continue your lifestyle. Ask yourself if this potential money gap is worth the change at this time.
Changing careers can also affect your schedule and even your health if it requires you to work more. Consider all the people and things that your new career will affect. Will you be able to handle a move, additional work, or extra stress?
Evaluate Your Education, Experience, and Skills
You may not have the right education or experience to get a job in the industry you are interested in. With this in mind, evaluate your experience (work and personal), education, and skills (work and personal) to help you choose the next step. Naturally, you may want to research post-graduate programs or other certificate programs to get you closer to your career goals. This is always an option, but so is choosing a change that utilizes more of what skills and experience you already have.
Choose Your Career Path Wisely
You may already have an idea about what you want to do. Or, you may just know that you need a change. I recommend taking a personality assessment for professionals and a career test if you are not sure about what would be a good fit. These tests can help you match you on a deeper level than just what appeals to you on the surface.
Additionally, think about your passions and what brings a big smile to your face when you think about it. Are you motivated by helping others, or are you looking for something that will bring greater financial rewards? Tap into your natural curiosity, for example, if you often wonder about what it would be like to be a nurse do some research about it. If you’re doing Google searches like, “What do computer forensic analysts do?“ or, “How much do archeologists make?”, allow these curiosities to motivate you toward a new career.
Build Your Experience
Though you may not be able to jump right into a new career, you can gain valuable experience to move closer to that day. Consider how you can expose yourself to the skills needed to jump careers. For example, if you want to get into advertising but have no experience in the field, look for intern opportunities that fit into your current schedule. Furthermore, try volunteering or helping out a friend who owns a business to expand your skills.
Do keep in mind that hiring managers do also look for solid life experience when choosing candidates You can showcase some of the life-skills you’re great at, such as organizing, budgeting, interior decorating, and home management on your resume.
Build Your Confidence
Sometimes you can fake your confidence in order to get by until you actually get it. However, there are some ways to build your self-esteem and confidence along the way. First, try to focus on what you know, what you’re good at, and the victories you’ve had in your life. Just thinking about these things helps you to feel valuable and successful. On the other hand, if you feel yourself slipping into negative thinking, quickly shift your thoughts back to something better.
Additional ways to gain self-confidence is to give yourself a makeover. Yes, our physical appearance can affect how we feel on the inside. If you’ve been in a slump on the outside, it could be one reason you feel unsatisfied with aspects of your life now, including your career.
Often, the thing that stops women from having the career they want is giving up too easily or never trying in the first place. After all, if you don’t apply for the job, you won’t get it. Of course, you may get rejected, but that’s OK. You move on to the next one and you build your qualifications as you can. It also helps to ask the hiring manager for feedback or reasons you didn’t get hired. This will certainly help you focus on your next steps. Overall, don’t give up and keep plugging away until you get your foot in the door.