Preparing Yourself for a Career Change

The workplace has changed. Rather than it being the norm, it’s now extremely rare for someone to spend their entire career doing the same thing, and even more rare, for the same employer. “Lifers” don’t exist anymore, both because of a shift in company values, ethics, and policies, as well as less loyalty and incentive for employees to stay.

Now is the age of career freedom- it has become appropriate for people to go through multiple careers in their lifetime, no longer it being chalked up to a “midlife crisis.” In this day and age, job positions appear and become obsolete as technology and society moves forward.

However, just because people do it, doesn’t mean that making a successful career change is easy. While we like to hear stories of people just getting up and quitting one day out of the blue, there is often thought, preparation, and transition that comes between two different careers. Making a successful exit out of one job and into the other is important to many of us with families, financial commitments, and something to lose. Preparation is key.

Find Out What You Want

Be sure that the job that you want is one that you fully understand and want. Talk to people in the field about their experiences, go to some information interviews, look at job descriptions on notice boards. Do these tasks interest you? Does a day in the life sound appealing to you? See if you can shadow someone who has the job that you want or consider doing a short internship to get a sense of the inner workings of the position.

Educate Yourself

While passion can take you far, qualifications are key to securing any position and it’s something an employer will look at first. Depending on the job, it can be in the form of a university degree, college diploma, post-secondary courses, or apprenticeships. This can be expensive and difficult to do if you are still working in your other career but enrolling in something doesn’t just give you knowledge and experience, it gives you connections and shows dedication to this change in direction.

Acquire Skills

Formal education is one thing, but it’s another to become proficient or acquainted with skills that the job will require. Find opportunities to pad your resume with applicable skills that will give you an edge. Learn with the Solidworks student edition, for example, if you want to work in 3D modelling, or find opportunities to speak in public if you know that’s something that you would be required to do. It shows that you do more than just your “homework” when it comes to being good at what you do (or at least want to).

While changing your career might not be as easy as changing your outfit, it can definitely improve your quality of life by infusing some passion and excitement into it. When done with real thought and preparation, it can be a very intentional and successful experience that will bring you years of enjoyment.

Good Luck!