No matter what you might think, it’s never too late to shake things up when it comes to working and having a career change. There are plenty of success stories out there of both men and women, who have found great success later on in life. Take a look at Vera Wang, who was initially a figure skater, before going on to work at Vogue. When she didn’t get the editor-in-chief position at 40, she decided to jump ship into fashion design and now has an impressive business and is a name known worldwide, even to those who aren’t into fashion. JK Rowling also didn’t start until she was 32 and was turned down by 12 publishers before going on to become a millionaire due to the success of her Harry Potter books, which she began to write on napkins in a cafe.
While it can be a scary and daunting prospect, changing careers could change your life for the better in ways you can’t even imagine. While it may sound like a cliche, life really is too short, and we only have the one, so don’t let the fear of the unknown kill your dreams.
We really can achieve anything we put our mind to with a bit of hard work, discipline, and a good plan. Here are five tips to help get you started.
Make sure you actually want a change in career and not just a change in jobs –
When people are dissatisfied with their jobs, it is often either the environment they work in or the people they have to work alongside, which end up being the defining factors of unhappiness rather than the job itself.
Even if it is the job, perhaps the sector or industry that you are in is still the one that interests you the most, but a slightly different position may be a better fit? You might be in the field that you love but simply in the wrong job.
Some people find that once they have taken a break, a step back, or something at work shifts, they end up falling back in love with their career. Make sure you take the time to really think about it and weigh in on every factor before making a drastic change.
Decide what you want to do –
If it turns out that you actually need to make a change and aren’t happy in your current career, you’ll need to decide what you want to move onto next. If you don’t have any ideas, it can be easier said than done, but don’t let the process overwhelm you.
Simplify things and start by asking yourself what is that you are passionate about, what are you naturally pulled towards interest wise, and what do you enjoy doing?
Think about what jobs embody these interests and make a list of possible options for you to focus on. Remember, you’ve spent too long in a position where you are unhappy and time is too short, so think about what will make you the happiest in the long run.
Have a financial plan –
Even if your job is making you want to rip your hair out, don’t go and quit straight out without having some sort of a financial plan in place. Not taking your finances into account before making such a big life-changing decision would be irresponsible and could leave you in serious trouble. While you are researching and creating your plan to jump careers, take this time to cut back on expenses, and pay off any existing debts as much as you can. Having a cash reserve will help you during those first unsure weeks and months if you are thinking of starting a new business or if you need to invest in some further qualifications, while still allowing you to pay for food and bills to live.
Analyse your current career up to now –
Even if you want to go in a completely brand new direction, it’s always a good idea to look at your career up until now. While many jobs can appear vastly different, especially in various sectors, many actually require similar skill sets.
Go over all of your past jobs, focusing more on the recent, and make a list of any transferable skills that could be useful and adapted into your new dream career.
Understanding your transferable skills will make getting new jobs easier. If you can already highlight this for your potential new employers, they will see your potential and appreciate your skillset even if you might not have experience in that precise field, or tick every box.
Share what you can teach and bring into a new team as a result of the knowledge that you already have and past experiences.
Mention this not only on your applications but in interviews as well and find several examples to back up your claim and strengthen your argument.
Understand what it takes to be successful in your new chosen field and upskill –
Once you have decided on the direction that you want to go in, it’s essential to first do some research into this area before steamrolling ahead and applying for any jobs that seemingly fit your new criteria. If you are serious about making the change and want to be successful, then you need to do some research first to get a greater understanding of what the job entails and what skills and qualifications are required. If you are thinking about going into a brand new profession that requires specific qualifications, look up online courses and degrees and tips onto, for example, how to become an accounting professional or paralegal – remember that it’s honestly never too late to get started. There are more options out there now than ever before when it comes to qualifications and financial help to further your education.
Even if you don’t require any official qualifications, it never hurts to upskill to broaden your opportunities. Are you looking to start a blog or get into marketing? Why not take an online blogging or digital marketing course to help get you started? Make some short term sacrifices to ensure you really succeed with your long term goals.