How to Make a Smooth and Successful Career Shift

Are you considering whether or not it's time to move on from your current job? You've thought through the positives and negatives. And, as a result, you've decided to change carers.

Now what?

Making a move to a new career can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be frightening. That's understandable, since you're leaving stability in order to make a move into the unknown. But it may be helpful to know that there are actually some solid steps you can take in order to make this transition as smooth and as comfortable as possible. Just follow this three-part formula:

1) Do your research.

Your new career is going to require new skills, new knowledge, and a strong understanding of a new industry. Do all the necessary reading and research on that industry to prepare yourself. Do some online checking, contact colleges and friends in the area you'll be relocating into, read trade or specialty publications, and so on. Utilize all the resources at your disposal in order to develop a solid base of knowledge for your new career.

2) Bring relevant skills with you.

Even though you're relocating into a new field and a new occupation, there is likely to be a lot of overlap. But many people make the mistake of completely clearing the slate and not recognizing the places where their old skills can help them in their new jobs. For example, let's say you've left your job at a bank to open up your own bakery. Well, just because your new job is creative, do not let yourself swing too far over to the artistic side without bringing along some of your business savvy. Remember that all jobs require a balance of creativity and professionalismism-you can use your head for numbers to create a cost-saving budget and invest your profits in wise ways.

Even if you're making a less dramatic shift-say, from public relations to advertising-you will still need to show perspective employers that being new to the field does not mean you're not bringing in a viable qualities to the table. This idea that skill sets overlap from industry to industry is an important one to keep in mind as you shift careers because it will provide a sense of emotional continuity.

3) Do not change everything all at once.

You're setting yourself up for emotional frenzy if you quit your current job, buy a dog, break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, move to a new town, and purchase a new home all in the span of one month. Make life easier for yourself, and make change more palatable, by taking small steps, and taking them one at a time. Try to maintain as much continuity as you can while making the big change of shifting careers.