I Want A New Career But I Have No Idea Where To Start
Making a career change is not unlike being in a relationship that you know isn’t really going anywhere. You know things aren’t the way you want them to be, but it’s hard to move on from what might be comfortable and safe, or you just feel like you’ve invested too much into it to leave.
You may also be scared of being let down by what else is out there. If you aren’t happy with your current career and have decided it’s time to break up and move on, then you’ve already taken the first step.
What do you want to do and what don’t you want to do?
It’s one thing to not like what you’re currently doing, but it’s another to find out what you actually want to be doing. If you know you want a change but aren’t sure yet what you want to do, one place to start is to think about what you’re currently doing.
If you’ve been in your current career for a while, there are probably a lot of skills you’ve obtained and things you’re very good at. Think about any of your current responsibilities that you enjoy and would like to continue to do. That can help you determine if you’re looking for a different role, different industry, or both.
Sometimes people want to make a career change and realize it was more of where they were working or who they were working with that made them unhappy rather than the career itself.
Try making a list of pros and cons with your current job. You may realize there are certain aspects that you don’t want to give up. Maybe you really enjoy training others and supervising and would like to continue doing those things, or you might enjoy more of the sales and relationship building in your current role and want to expand that.
Even if you aren’t happy with your current job or career, it has given you the chance to understand why that is and what is and isn’t important to you with your next one.
You want to consider everything since this is a big change, so also think about location and if you’d be willing to move, work/life balance, and anything else that may impact your decision.
Networking is extremely important already in the job market, but it might be even more important when you’re looking to change careers. Talk to anyone you may know in a certain career that you’re interested in and work on building your network.
Utilize LinkedIn as well to see who’s out there and who you can connect with. Networking is also a chance for you to do some informational interviewing with people to find out as much as you can about what they do and what their recommendations would be.
They might suggest volunteering to get your feet wet and get a feel for a specific career, or just to get some experience. Maybe you’ll need additional education or training.
Talking to people who are already there is your best resource to understand what your new career can provide you along with any potential challenges you may face. You’ll be able to find out what they really do every day and if it will be the right fit for what you’re looking to do.
Get your resume in order
Having worked in a completely different career up to this point, you’ll more than likely need to update your resume. You’ll want to look at what is currently on your resume and how you can emphasize certain aspects of your experience as they relate to your desired new career. This is where you want to focus on some of your transferrable skills that you can leverage.
A lot of people worry that not having related experience will keep them from getting a job in a new field, but keep in mind that nobody else had experience in that field either until they started. You want your resume to show employers that you’ve had previous success and produced results that you can also do for them.
Go get your dream job
If you’ve gotten this far with your decision to change careers, it’s time to officially put things in motion. You may have gotten some potential leads from networking and volunteering if that’s the route you took.
Beyond that, you’ve already figured out what you don’t want to do anymore and worked on finding out what you do want, so it’s time to put yourself out there and make it happen!