Planning on Changing Careers?
Read this First!
Changing careers can be nerve wrecking; it can be a rather important decision especially if you have a family and a mortgage to pay for. So, I’m not going to “tell” you that you should be changing careers or quit your job. All I can do is give you ideas and questions you should be asking yourself and hopefully guide you to the “correct” decision for you (and maybe your family). There are many factors to consider beyond the scope of this site, but the first question to ask yourself is: “What is the price you will pay for this change?” Just be honest, and it usually takes longer and costs more than you think, just ask Murphy (as in “Murphy’s Law”). The second question is simply, “Are you willing to pay that price?” It could be any combination of time, energy or money.
If the answer is YES, then keep reading, I will to go over the success factors.
If you are DEAD serious about changing careers, and have been unhappy at your job for some time, then the first step is to DECIDE. It’s simple as that. A lot of people go through the motions of changing careers, dreaming and mentally scheming. It’s the truth you won't be where you want to be in a day, but you set yourself up in the right direction!
If you are stuck on what to do, take a quick look at a career assessment.
Personally I have made my “attempts” at changing careers, and some were not very “successful” but they were all learning experiences. A little history: I graduated from the University of Illinois with a computer science degree, not exactly sure I REALLY wanted to get into computers. After all, I was a rather social person and felt I would spend too much time being isolated. Which I found to be correct. I then decided to try my hand at real estate investing “full time”, after all I had over 18 months cash to live on. I gave it only a half-assed effort which resulted in a negative cash situation. Therefore, I felt the quickest way to get back on ‘track’ was to get back into software development again. I dabbed at a couple other things during that time. (I have been known for starting new projects but not always finishing them, like a ‘hare’).
The thing is, I’ve been dreading life in my beige cube (or coffin?) for quite some time, and spent a lot of time thinking of getting out of it. I bet a lot of you have been doing the same. I have worked for 6 companies in 11 years for companies like Experio, Xpedior, Initech, & Introde with some other business attempts in between. So, why am I STILL working in software development? I had to take the time to smell the roses and realize I’m in a good position “for now”. Here are a couple reasons
- I “run my own show” which gives me almost full creative control to solve problems
- My company puts emphasis on work/life balance. We leave the office at 5pm
- I am constantly learning. The company invests in our education, so we attend numerous technology seminars and workshops. One of my strengths according to StrenghtsFinder is that I’m a “learner,” I LOVE to learn.
- I am about to become a Dad very soon, and I’ve become more grateful with the blessings life offers me.
It’s important to take a good look at where you are currently. Also, be sure to ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?"
. If you're okay with moving back in with your parents, that's perfectly okay. Go ahead and call me a Failure to Launch...I did 3 times! Even though I’m working at "Initech", I am hard at work on a new career I am enjoying and learning. I got a memo that there is a pretty deep recession
going on out there, but creating a business from my “bare brains” has been rewarding thus far. What are you going to do?
Allrighty, below is a simple outline to follow in changing careers.
Be sure you know the Myths of Career change – learn from other’s mistakes
Develop your Goals – what are you looking to get out of this change? (money? Satisfaction?)
Be sure to set smart goals
Purposeful Career Change – Personal rewards can come from creation, helping and teaching others. A good career is also good for your spirit
Expand your awareness
Take a good career change assessment test
Develop a SOLID Career Change Action Plan
Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letters
Identify your job skills to help write your resume
Be sure to list all transferable skills
Learn to write a GREAT Resume for career change
Write a catchy Cover Letter
Increase your knowledge (get educated)
Know your education options for career change
Discover the right career training program
Here are a couple of Popular ‘n HOT Career Changes
Know the “Hot Career” trends
Starting a business
Network and Additional Help:
Really stuck? Maybe a good idea to see career change counseling
Over Mid life career change challenges
Find a job club and network, worked for me.
Is global career management for you?
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