Choosing to shift from one career to another is a hard decision, and is definitely not something to be taken lightly. In essence, it’s an investment in both your time and money — and as with all investments, it requires a decent amount of research and information before you can make an informed decision. That said, whether it’s because you’ve found a new passion or want something new, here are the things you need to do before you start your new career.
Do your research
Before shifting careers, find out more about it. You may have the skills needed for the job, but industry know-how is also necessary. Caroline Castrillon recommends going to career-specific conferences, finding a mentor, or shadowing professionals in that field. You can even take part-time work in your desired field if you can juggle it with your current job. Aside from this, do your research on compensation so that you go in knowing how much you should ask for you — you don’t want to end up accepting less than you should just because you’re new at the job.
Take inventory of the skills you have and the skills you’ll need
After you’ve done your research, take a look at the skills you currently have, and try to find out if you can make use of them in your new job. While hard skills may be something you’ll have to learn (if you haven’t already in your spare time), Mike Abramson told Business News Daily in an interview that soft skills are, fortunately, transferrable. Skills like communication, leadership, and adaptability can all be repackaged for your new role; it’s just a matter of explaining this to your recruiter or manager about how you can use them in your new job.
Make sure you’re financially stable
Preparing financially is crucial, as your income could drop slightly or significantly depending on your new role. In order to do this, come up with a budget and stick to it. When it comes to budgeting, ‘A Guide to Monthly Budgets’ by Marcus notes that there are several budgeting styles, such as the 50/20/30 rule, zero-based budgeting, and reverse budgeting, all of which ensure you have enough for savings. Additionally, make sure to have an emergency fund that can cover your expenses for at least three months, just in case things don’t go as planned.
Understand that failure is part of the process
At the end of the day, failure is inevitable. If you remember when you started your current career, failure was probably a consistent yet motivating presence that guided you through — and it’s no different with your new job. Our article on the ‘4 Career Tips You Haven’t Heard Before’ emphasizes that being capable of taking on these setbacks lets you learn new lessons and move on with a more informed outlook. After all, the most valuable lessons come from failure.
Changing careers is a daunting thing to do — but it doesn’t have to be so scary if you’re prepared. With our four tips on what to consider, you can make the transition smoother and easier so you can focus on doing what you love best.
Here at the Focus of Georgia, we aim to help people take the next step on their career paths. If you’re currently looking for career guidance, contact us today.
Written for focusga.com by Chloe Walsh