Are you working in an occupation that isn’t satisfying? Maybe you have been revisiting your dreams of finding a new job. No matter what your reasons are, you think you are ready to take the plunge and start a career. What should you know before you make an employment move?
Here are 5 tips that could empower you to make a change—the right way . . .
If you are considering switching jobs, you need to have a good idea of where you are financially. The first thing you should do—if you haven’t done so already—is to create a realistic budget of your current expenses and income. By signing up for free at Mint.com, you have the option to have all of your financial information in one place including bank transactions and balances. Then Mint will categorize your expenses and even show you where you might save money. Because it tracks your spending, you’ll know how much you have left over after you pay your bills. Making the leap into a new occupation is easier if it is a smooth, financial transition so take the time to sit down and the crunch numbers.
Figure out what you want
What is it that you’re looking for? Are you searching for more excitement or ways to express creativity in your new career? Maybe you want more flexibility so that you can have more for your children. Begin by making a list. Then make use of career assessment tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—a personality test that could be helpful when matching your personality to a new job—or The Birkman Method which analyzes things like your desired work style and your organizational skills.
If you want to make a career change, you should figure out what the necessary educational requirements are of your new job. If you have your associate’s and need a bachelor’s, you should think about earning your degree online. Elearners often have increased flexibility with regards to their college education since they may be able to tailor their course schedules around their existing work obligations. If you would like to find out more about which online degree programs might work for you, check with eLearners.com for more information.
You should have a support system in place prior to making any career change. Whether it is your family or your friends, they may prove to be invaluable when it comes to making the employment leap. If you are feeling overwhelmed or down about everything you have to do, it might be easier if you have someone you can call upon to hear you out or brainstorm with you. Don’t underestimate the power of human connections.
In addition to your tribe, you should be consistently networking. Whether it means creating a professional profile on LinkedIn and joining groups relevant to your new career interests or conducting informational interviews with people you admire who are already working in the field, more knowledge is usually better. If you are able to engage in a paid—or unpaid—internship in your new industry of choice, gleaning that hands-on experience could help you feel more confident when it’s time to move into a different career.
Switching careers doesn’t have to leave you overwhelmed and nervous. If you are organized, plan ahead, and follow the tips in this article, you should find the transition easier as you begin your new employment. Just remember to map out how and when you are going to make the switch and maintain a realistic perspective about your current financial situation before taking the plunge.
Pamela Rossow is a freelance writer who works with higher education clients such as eLearners. She is a native South Floridian who enjoys photography, literature, and hockey. You can follow her on Google+.