You are never too late to embark on a career change. Pursuing a new interest or doing something that you love and enjoy can give you a deep sense of self-satisfaction. Making a career change (at any stage of your life) can feel daunting. However, if you are prepared for the process, then you will have a higher chance of success. So, just what does preparation and readiness for a career change involve, and how can you make a switch successful?
Establish Why Change is Necessary
To start with, you need to think about why change is necessary. For example, do you feel that a career change is necessary because you have given everything that you can give to your current career? Or, do you feel like you can offer more in another sector or industry? What is driving this change in you and in your career? When you can pinpoint why change is necessary and you can establish why it will be beneficial to you, then you are ready to make a move. If you have the drive and desire to make a change and make a difference, then you must pursue this in a new career – or else you may regret it.
Have Purpose and Vision
After establishing why a change of career is necessary, you then have to establish what your purpose and vision are. For example, in your new career, do you want to help people, perhaps by becoming a nurse. Or is your vision to have a positive impact on the lives of others by being involved in social work? If you switch careers or look at moving into another one (before establishing what your purpose and vision are), then you risk your move being less successful than you initially anticipated. This can then have a knock-on effect on your confidence.
Decide Which Career You Want to Pursue
You know what you want to do, and you know what impact you want to have. However, what career do you want to pursue? For example, if you are looking to get into the healthcare industry, then have you thought about changing careers to nursing, and is this something that would give you fulfillment and satisfaction. Or, are you looking at pursuing a career in another industry or sector (different from the one you are currently in)? There are lots of careers and sectors that you can pursue, and it is important to narrow down your shortlist as soon as possible.
Create an Action Plan
Now that you know what is driving you and pushing you towards change, you then have to set about creating an action plan. To make a career change successful, you must plan what you will do and why and when. Simply leaving everything up to chance will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When you are creating an action plan for your career change, you have to break down your goals and objectives and layout timescales. When you do this, you will make switching your career achievable and realistic. If you fail to create an action plan, then you may find that your career change takes longer to realize, and of course, this will leave you feeling frustrated.
Focus on Self-evaluation or Self-assessment
Now that you have your action plan sat in front of you, now is the time to focus on self-evaluation. When you undertake a period of self-evaluation, you establish where room for growth lies. So, for example, what have you got to offer and bring to a new role, and what key skills have you built and developed in your existing career or role? Do you have a valuable skillset that you can offer to your new role? Do you have relatable life experiences that can be useful? A period of self-evaluation will give you the opportunity to reflect and then progress and push forwards.
Invest in Yourself and In Your Growth
You can do so much, and you can offer so much too. Achieving all this and more is possible when you invest in yourself and in your growth too. Investing in yourself and giving yourself the tools you need to pursue a successful career change is important. If you hold yourself back or limit your access to training, development, and education, then you will stop yourself from realizing your ambitions. When you invest in your growth, you will find that you can get so much out of the process. To successfully invest in yourself, you need to believe that change will happen, and you need to believe that you can make an impact in your new role or sector.
Continue With Your Education
Your education will be paramount to a career change. If you are to be successful at changing careers, then you have to value and realize the importance of your education. Improving your knowledge and even raising your awareness by continuing your education is essential. If you do not focus your time and energy on continuing your education, then you will find that you will get stuck, and this is not what you want to happen – especially when you are embarking on a new career. To successfully continue your education, you need to look at what industry requirements and expectations are. Ensure that your level of education and approach to education are in line with industry requirements and expectations.
Start Seeking Experience
Experience will help you (especially when you are changing careers). Paid experience or short-term voluntary experience in the industry or sector you are interested in will help you build your skillset and your confidence too. When it comes to gaining valuable experience, you must look at local employers as well as those that are perhaps out of state. When you start seeking experience, you show prospective employers that you are keen and motivated. Remember that any experience gained may help you build useful contacts and even open the doors to new opportunities.
Build Your Skillset
The skillset that you hold will prove invaluable for a career change. Being able to utilize existing skills that you have and even being able to add new skills is crucial to career success. When it comes to building your skillset, you need to look at skills that are in high demand within your chosen field or industry. To compete with other candidates, you will have to have a skill set that will entice employers. When you have established what skills are required (and perhaps even necessary), you can then set about gaining them or even improving them. Your potential employers will want to see what you can do and offer, and they can do this by ascertaining where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Create a Great Support Network
Changing careers and leaving a role or industry that you have stability in can be scary and it can be daunting. However, with the right people and support around you, it can be a whole lot easier. When it comes to building and creating a great support network, you need to ensure that you have friends and family around you, as well as colleagues and other professionals. When you change your career, you may be uncertain at times, ad this is when you need reassurance and guidance from others. If you do not have a support network to fall back on then, you may feel disconnected and confused at times. This is, of course, not what you want or what you need when you are undergoing a period of change and growth.
Start Interview Preparation and Resume Writing
After building a support network, you then have to start working on your resume and practicing for interviews. If you are entering a new industry or sector, you must make sure that your resume is completely relevant and targeted to the roles that you are going for. Listing relevant experience alongside your education is important. After brushing up on your resume, you then have to start preparing for interviews. It may have been a while since you last entered an interview, and to ensure that you handle yourself correctly (with composure and confidence),you need to practice interview questions and answers. When you are ready for interviews, and you are confident with your answers, then you will find that this confidence will shine through to the interviewer.
Set Goals and Objectives
Making a leap into a new role or industry can be overwhelming. However, if you break the process down by setting clear goals and objectives, you will find that the whole process will be much simpler and quicker. When it comes to setting goals and objectives, you have to be sure that they are both relevant and timely. For example, a relevant and timely goal would be to enhance your education within the next six months (ready for your new career). When you have set goals and objectives to work towards, a career change (at any point in your life) does not feel so overwhelming or daunting.