Dissatisfaction, boredom, changing life styles and limited advancement or compensation opportunities headline traditional career change lists. But today career change drivers are just as likely to be for non-elective reasons. No matter if your decision is driven by a pursuit for happiness or a pursuit for survival; follow these important rules to insure a smart and lasting career change.
1. Objectively examine the emotional reasons you are changing your career. Pursuing a passion or talent? Seeking a career with meaning? Exiting a dead end job? You’ll need to firmly know and understand the real reasons and drivers if you expect to go the distance required in a new career pursuit.
2. Starting a new career is like starting your own business. Make sure you have the capital and the resources to embark on the journey! Doing related volunteer or part-time work while you’re researching, preparing, exploring and pursuing your new life will allow you to make important progress while keeping vital financial and emotional safety nets in place.
3. Know what you have to offer. Be able to explain it in 1 minute or less. Your explanation must include new career benefits and needs you’ll fill, and a factual reason for why or how you can provide them. Use new career vocabulary and connect “old” words to new ones. If you can’t draw those connections, find out how to create them.
4. Create a strategy! Strategy is a backward plan. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Research job descriptions and career profiles and list the requirements. Then, trace back the necessary steps, education and training you’ll need to get there. Finally, map out the action steps, job titles and skills you need to pursue and land in the process.
5. You need a marketing plan, not just a new resume. A resume can lock you into talking about the past, and make you sound uncertain about what you want to do. A marketing campaign lays out your strengths, and applies them to the activities and the new direction you’re looking for. That marketing “plan” can make for an excellent new cover letter, will help you glide through tough new interviews, and help you reformulate your resume into the tool you need to gain admittance into your new career.
Changing careers requires a job change – a scary proposition. However, with career change training, and good career change advice will help see you through this difficult challenge. Don’t let your fear stop you from finding a job you love.