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Career Change – How to Really Change Career!

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Personal Development is the key to your future growth!
heidinazarudinJan 10, 2014

Career Change, it’s natural to fear change but when/if the time comes when not changing career is more terrifying than changing, it’s time to go for it, expect to be scared by the prospect, just try to channel this energy into forward motion instead of paralysis.

Following these steps will help you gently move from the shallow end to the deep, instead of diving in headfirst.  The water can be cold at first, but if you go slowly, you’ll acclimate.

Career Change, it’s natural to fear changeBut when/if the time comes when not changing careers is more terrifying than changing, it’s time to go for it.  Expect to be scared by the prospect, just try to channel this energy into forward motion instead of paralysis.

Following these steps will help you gently move from the shallow end to the deep, instead of diving in headfirst.  The water can be cold at first, but if you go slowly, you’ll acclimate.

  • Research what your ideal career would be rather than just jumping from one career to another without much thought.  There are a number of guides to help you thru this process if you don’t have the vaguest idea what you’d like to do.  “What Color is Your Parachute?” is a classic self-help guide by Richard Bolles that has been around for decades.  Or register (for free) at www.princetonreview.com and take their five-minute career aptitude test.  Or check out careerpath.com and their career tests.
  • Read as much as you can about the jobs that strike you as appealing.  Decide if you need to take more schooling or already have the requirements.  Speak with people in that profession and ask if you can shadow them for a day or two.
  • Be realistic about professions.  Every one has its upsides and its downsides.  Be sure to weigh them honestly.
How to Change Careers

This article is Part of Business 101: The Career Crucials  series.

 

Living in LA I have many friends who say they want to be an actor.  When I ask about their acting classes I often hear “oh, I don’t do that – that’s boring.”  Or they complain about driving around town for auditions along with 100 other people.  Or when they do get a part on a show I’ll hear them complain about the 16 hour days when they spent all but 10 minutes of that sitting around waiting for their scene to be shot.  I have to wonder what exactly they thought being an actor meant.  It’s not all in-front-of-the-camera-emoting or accepting an Oscar.  The daily grind is a large part of the gig.

 

  • If possible, consider volunteering first.  Or see if your current company has a division that does the work you might be interested in.  Or consider applying for a job at the type of company that is your ideal, but in a department that uses your current skills.

 

For example, years ago I thought I might like to get into fashion design and manufacturing.  My background however was  in finance so I applied for a position as an accountant at a fashion house.  Working in that capacity gave me a look at the inner workings.  So much so that I found out it was not for me, but I saved myself many years of fashion design school and then internship and then job seeking before realizing that arena was not what I pictured.

 

  • Lay the groundwork:  you probably need to set aside money.  Consider a separate account called “career change fund” so that you don’t dip into it before you’re ready to launch.

 

  • You may also need to learn a new skill.  No one has all the answers so don’t expect that you will.  Figure out what you need to learn and learn it.  Take classes, look for mentors.

 

Learning these skills will also help beef up your resume.  You can’t apply for a video-game programmer position with only barista experience listed.  However, if you’ve been taking classes on programming, you can list those.  If you’ve written amateur game programs, list those.  Don’t completely scratch your barista experience, but highlight aspects that can crossover as helpful in your new field, such as worked well with others or created new software application to inventory coffee.

 

  • Start networking and meeting people in the field you’re interested in to not only find out if you really like that field, but so that you can form relationships that will be helpful if you dive in.  People generally love to talk about themselves, so introduce yourself by saying you’re interested in knowing more about their career path.  Offer to take them to coffee or lunch so that you can pick their brain about their workdays and then ask them what they like best and what they like least about their jobs.  Ask them what sort of experience they had and what they wished they had more of to become successful in a short time.

 

Look at this period of time as a sort of internship in a part-time job.  Put the hours every day/week into it.  Then, at some point, dive into the deep end.  You’re prepared.  It’s easy to mull something over forever and get stuck thinking you’re not ready.  At some point you have to trust and make the leap.

 

Still, realize that you’ll be competing in the job field with people who may have more experience than you in your new career choice.  That’s okay.  Remember to draw parallels between aspects of your prior career that relate to your new one.  Impress upon interviewers the concept that you’ll be bringing new eyes and new passion and a different slant than persons who have been in the field for years.

 

Above all, develop a positive attitude and a sense of great expectations.  Cultivate a sense of destiny and self-assurance that this change will have a positive outcome.

 

And learn to breathe.  Learning to breathe while swimming is the most important part.

Personal Development is the key to your future growth!
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