5 Simple Steps to Make a Career Change

With a new school year, many people turn to also look for a new career or work opportunity. Is this the year that you finally decide to break with a dead-end job that's taking you now or a boss who causes your blood pressure to rise? Are you done giving everything that you've got in the tank to a company that does not acknowledge your contribution? Have you thought about moving to a new career, but did not know how to get from here to there?

Your opportunity for change is now. It's here. There's no time like the present.

If you've been thinking about leaving your job for a new career opportunity, now is a great time to look to see what's out there in the market. The economy is generally good, businesses are feeling more confident, and so unemployment is at low levels. We know that everything is cyclical and there will come a time this will not be the case, and so this is a great environment to see if you can improve your work situation.

Do you need a new job or a new career?

The first question to ask yourself is whether you prefer a new job or a career change. Moving into a new industry will come with all sorts of challenges, such as training, a pay cut, or taking a job that's at a lower rank than where you are in your current industry. Moving to a new career is a lot of work, and so it requires careful consideration and thought. If you're not wholly committed to doing everything necessary for a new career, the chances are high that as much as you would like to have been, you'll probably be okay with a new job.

Take an inventory of your skills.

Even if you're looking to move into an entirely different industry, you should review and assess your skills, especially those that are transferable to another career. For instance, ask yourself if you're a communicator or manager? Do you have particular skills in marketing, finance or operations? A reason to carefully assess your skills is that you should be keenly aware of your best skills as you begin to transition and go on job interviews. Also, you may be able to ease into a transition to your ultimate career by exploring job opportunities that will get you a step or two closer to your goal, but not yet be the career and job of your dreams.

What's going to be the effort for a new career?

Once you've decided that a new career is in the cards for you, you have to get started on doing your research. Some people who are chasing their career dreams may end up in a situation where they are evaluating more than one industry. Making a career change is more challenging than a job change, so you're going to have to assess what it will take for you to switch careers. In your research, see …

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