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Successful Career Change - Do’s and Don’ts

Do you know why you started to lose interest? Is it because you can’t solve something given to you and want to escape? Or you’re just fed up of the routine and need a break? There could be many reasons why you want a change of career. The important thing is to know what kind of change do you need. A change of employers, responsibilities or your career altogether - what is it that you really want?

How is your current job?

All jobs aren’t boring and not everyone could fulfill all the responsibilities given to them. Though you perform extremely well in your current job and all your colleagues look up to you, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose interest in it. You can fall out of love with your job though you’re good at it. There is a difference between a person genuinely losing interest or just being fickle. It’s difficult to predict the typical responsibilities of any job at the start and it's easy to get bored of it so much so, that it starts to bug you.

There could be hundreds of reasons why you want to change your career. Let me list a few examples to which changing the career is not the only answer.

  • Issues with the employer but not with the job. The confusion arises when you don’t know if it’s the job or the employer that is bothering you.

  • Growth in the company! Yes, so you’ve started off very well but you’re stuck in the same position. It could be you or the company isn’t able to recognize your skills. In this case, you can refresh your skills and just try out for a different company than changing your career.

  • Well, if you have your personal tensions, because of which you are vaguely interested in your job, you still needn’t change your career.

  • And the most important of all, pay. It kind of stings to see the people in different careers get hike more than you. You could be happy for them but then, it is human tendency to want more. If the pay is the all you’re worried about, research on the pay scale of your existing career or consider a certification to step up your skills. Trying out for a similar job in a different company with experience not only, gets you better package but also much better recognition.

2. Similar job or a different career?

When you’re stressed out and are anxious about the future, everything might look like it’s falling apart. It is the general human tendency to skip on the issues we find it difficult to deal with. Before you decide on a different career, you need to know if you’re okay working in a job with similar roles and responsibilities. Now, the answer to this could help clarify or organize your thoughts. If you’re okay with working with similar responsibilities, there is no point in changing your career direction.

3. Research

Yes, now that you’ve finally decided that you really want to change your career, where would you start? Do you already know what should be your next plan of action or you need to figure it out? Whatever the answer to the above questions is, I’m sure the answer is research. Make time for research and check out the different kinds of careers available. Research it all and don’t forget to list out the different careers so you don’t miss out on anything.

4. How to pick the right career?

Well, the answer to this question is kind of tricky. There are a lot of reasons for an individual to not pick a career and many parameters to analyze how it all works out for you. Here is a list of few points which you need to consider while picking your new career.

  • Assess your likes and dislikes. The reason for not liking your previous job could be your disinterest, employers, coworkers or anything. But to pick the next career, it is very essential to list out your likes. What excites your spirit? What is your passion? What would you love to do? The questions to these answers could help you list down few possible career choices. If you haven’t yet found out what you’re really passionate about, you could take few career assessment tests. You should keep in mind that the results of these tests might tell you to pick a similar career as you’re in right now. Remember that, it is just because the questions asked in these tests analyze your skills and out of experience, you excel in your existing career leading to the super fail of the career assessment test.

  • Make a list of transferrable skills. The list of skills like communications, planning, strategy and generalized skills are transferrable to any career. The point here is to make a list of skills that might be helpful for your new career. If you’re good at something and would love to show off the skill, you might need to research what kind of jobs need that skill and turn it to your advantage.

  • You need to make a career choice now, you like it and you’re considering this career. But, do you know the career path of this particular field you’ve picked out? You need to list out the different career options available and research on the roles and responsibilities so you’ll know beforehand what kind of work you will be dealing with everyday.

  • Next comes the growth. Growth in any job is important for obvious reasons. Staying in a dead end job doesn’t work out well with anyone. So understanding the different kinds of positions, knowing the responsibilities and realizing if you have what it takes to make a living in that career is one thing you shouldn’t forget.  

  • Let someone guide you. Make sure you reach out to someone experienced and ask their view on the new career you’re going to pick. You might not like the advices given to you but the same advices could be of use to you at some point. You could also reach out to a career consultant and check if it’ll work out.

5. Build Connections

To successfully change your career, you need to build connections and expand your network. Your colleagues might help you with the job leads and additional information. For some of you, by talking to the alumni , family or friends, you’ll find someone related to the career. The best thing to do here is to join professional organizations.

6. Training

It is necessary to up your game with training. A change of career is not an easy thing which happens in just a month. I’d say you’re really lucky and talented if that did happen to you. But the thing here is to get trained from any professional institute or have a self learning online class which will help you to learn the necessary skills needed for your new career. Employers prefer having a training session conducted for freshers than experienced professionals. So, it is important to not give a reason to anyone to not pick you during the interview.

7. Research more and develop skills

Once the training is done, do you want to directly attend interviews or would you want to develop those skills? Knowing what you’re exactly going to do and finishing the tasks with finesse takes a while. For that you need to know all about what exact role you’re going to go for and what kind of tasks you’re going to perform. Following this, you can develop the different skills needed with practice. Yes, practice.

8. Get certified for expertise

Certifications are a must for few roles and it is always better to get certified. Whatever profession you’re in, whatever you do, I’m sure there’s a certification to get you better job opportunities. And why shouldn’t you do it when the certification acts as a plus point in your interview selection and also subtly shows off that you gave the exam and nailed the test.

9. Work on interview skills

Different skills are expected from different roles and so will be with interviews. Apart from the questions related to the skill, you will be asked about the sudden career change and why have you picked this position. Improv works well on standup comedy shows but not while the interviewer is asking you questions. List the questions and possible answers and pick the best answer. Honest is the best policy but diplomacy is just as good. Blaming the employers or coworkers wouldn’t prove anything in the interview.

10. Don’t give up

Change in career could take more time than you expected and planned. Be prepared for it but don’t get disappointed if it does not fall into place immediately. It is important to stay positive and hope for the best. Stay practical and work smart to start afresh in a new career.

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