Imagine Making a Career Change... Then Do it

Expert Advice: 5 Tips to Career Change Success

Unless you already started life with a substantial nest egg or you’re related to Bill Gates, you likely chose your current job as a means of paying the bills. As you gain more experience and confidence, it's only natural to consider something that's a little closer to what you once envisioned you'd be doing in life when you wrote that "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up" essay in fifth grade. Here are five tips to help you take those career goals off the back burner.

 

1. Have A Clear Idea of Your New Career Goals

Before you tell off your boss in a grand display of independence and post it to YouTube, it helps to have an idea of what you want your new career to be. You don't have to know the specifics just yet—you just have to define your career goals.

Conduct some research beforehand to determine factors such as the outlook for your desired career, the education and experience required for your new career, and the availability of positions within your desired field in your area. This is also the time when you want to decide if you're willing to relocate or prepared to go back to school, if necessary. Your career goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

2. Budget for the Transition

Ideally, you want to hold on to the job have right now until you have a new job. However, this isn't always practical, especially if you're looking for something more than a substantial boost in pay.

Work within a realistic budget to cut expenses as much as possible. This will give you the financial resources you need to meet your living expenses and financial obligations until you're in your new position. Keep in mind that your desired new profession isn't necessarily going to mean a pay hike. 

3. Make Useful Connections

An easy first step you can take is to get to know people in your new chosen field. This can be accomplished through your social accounts, specifically LinkedIn. Search for people likely to be able to give you some useful tips. Take time to establish friendly, professional relationships. The concept of networking certainly isn't new, but it's still an extremely effective way to get your foot in the door. 

4. Start Fresh with the Right Mindset

Even if you tried to make a career change in the past and it didn't work out the way you wanted it to, start fresh and focus on your future. You're not going to gloss over your past on your resume, but you can emphasize your current experience and the unique qualifications you have specific to your new career goals. 

Yes, this means it's time to update your resume, if you haven't done so recently, and present yourself in a new light. On a personal level, this means forgetting about disappointments from the past and starting fresh with a new outlook on life from this point forward.

5. Define What Success Means to You

It's one thing to follow your passion and another thing to be practical. Put the two concepts together and access your goals. While it may have been acceptable to take time off, find yourself, and explore career paths with no clear plan when you were in your early twenties, that philosophy isn't going to cut it now. Take stock of your current situation and find a balance between pursuing something that makes you happy while realistically meeting your financial needs.The decision to change careers can be a wise one, as long as you're prepared and have a clear vision of where you want to end up and a solid plan on getting there. Get started on your path to a new and rewarding career by presenting your qualifications in an attractive, easy-to-read package with Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder from LiveCareer.

 

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