Career Change: Steps To Making The Transition Process A Smooth One

February 25, 2016

Thinking of making a career change? Maybe you have lost interest in your current job, have become recently unemployed, or have simply decided you want to do better? Whatever the case may be, when you are shifting to a career field that is unlike the one you are in, the transition can be challenging.

Though we know that anything worth having is going to present some challenges along the way, it does not hurt to have a little assistance in getting over each hurdle. That is why I came up with a few quick tips on how to make the transition a lot easier to deal with:

1. Evaluate The Reason For The Switch

Before you simply switch careers, it is a good idea to really evaluate why you are making the switch. Making impulsive decisions to jump from one career to the next will just leave you worn down and unhappy in the long run. What did you dislike about where you worked or the industry you are in? Was it the boss, coworkers, the workload? The same goes for the things you liked. What was it about your job that you loved and would like to continue doing? This will help you as you determine which career choice is best for you.

2. Research New Careers

Once you have a better idea of what you like and dislike you are ready to start looking at the careers that are out there. Start by reviewing career options that center around your likes or passions. Resources such as the US Department of Labor can be great for looking up basic job information including the occupational outlook of a particular industry.

3. Assess Your Current Skills

In order to get your foot in the door you will need to have some of the core skills to obtain the job you are most interested in. Take a look at your skills and experiences to see if they will help you land a career. While you may be making a drastic switch, such as going from a teacher to a nurse, there are still some skills that are universal. Good communication, effective leadership skills, office etiquette, and so on can be applied no matter what job you land.

4. Training And Education

After you have assessed your skills, you will know exactly what type of training or education you will need. While some may just need to take a few basic courses, others may need to obtain degrees, certifications, or licenses to get into the field of choice. Using the example above, if you were once a teacher and you would like to get into nursing, you would need to look for nursing colleges in PA, or wherever you live, to find out how to enroll and obtain a degree. If you simply require a few training courses, be sure that they are from an accredited program, so that you can receive a certificate of completion or recognition that can be added to your resume.

5. Start Networking

Next to training and education, having a solid network of professionals is the best way to make the switch into a new field. People within your network can help you find job leads, give you advice, and even introduce you to others that may be able to help you achieve your goals. You can start by attending local networking events in your neighborhood that are related to the field you’re interested in. Social media networks such as LinkedIn are also great resources for connecting with professionals near and far.

6. Start Gaining Experience

Experience is often your greatest teacher and therefore you want to try to get as much of it as you can. Whether you search for part time work, internships, or volunteer work in a local business, it will help you to gain the industry experience you need to nab a decent job.

7. Find A Mentor

Mentors are great for career changes. They can help you through your transition process by giving you advice. They may also be able to introduce you to a network of professionals that can help you accomplish your goals faster. As you search for a mentor, make sure it is someone that is in or was previously in the field you’re looking to switch to.

8. Start Job Hunting

Once you have gotten the necessary training you need, all that is left to do is find a position. Understand that you may not be able to start off in a high level position and may have to work your way up. As you begin searching for job opportunities keep this in mind and look for career opportunities within a company that you can see yourself growing with.

Being a doctor and travel photojournalist, I know all too well how challenging it can be to obtain the career of your dreams. Hopefully, these tips help make it easier for you to make the transition. Making any career change will require a great deal of effort on your behalf, but if you do the research, choose something you are passionate about, and build a support system, you will accomplish your dreams in no time at all!

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