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Changing Careers

Fa calendar 16 grey May 9, 2017   
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Changing careers is no different from self-reinvention and comes with its own shares of risks and as such requires one to have a solid contingency plan. 

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Beat down, fed up, bored, lost, unhappy; an example of a few adjectives that never fail feature in your vocabulary or at least cross your mind whenever someone asks how you are doing at work. Unfortunately, the number of people who change careers due to being unhappy as compared to those who achieve their set goals is scaringly high. This implies most of these people who are pushed over the edge opt to switch careers not because they hate the career itself but the job. Changing careers is no different from self-reinvention and comes with its own shares of risks and as such requires one to have a solid contingency plan as discussed below.

Transitioning into the ‘wrong’ career; clarity and competence are two factors that you must put into consideration when considering change in career. Take time and evaluate the essence of what you want to achieve, what you have achieved so far, experience and skills that will enable you to transition smoothly. However, one can take a gradual approach in changing careers as opposed to taking a giant leap which I must say is safer. This can be done by taking evening classes or online courses.

Job search; this is the time when you can call in a favour from your networks. Networking is a major key when it comes to changing careers. Your networks are usually in the best position to give you information and advice about the company of your interest or even better job leads. When trying to land a new job, you might be tempted to include every bit of information about your working experience but guess what? It might not all be relevant to the role you are applying for. Highlight some of your current transferable skills that you might leverage to your new career, ones you get an interview opportunity you can then bring up the rest of your work experience.

Flexibility; being accommodative to change is a ‘virtue’ you will have to learn forced by circumstances perhaps. Changing careers might have to come with a lot of changes and challenge in your life e.g. geographic relocations, salary, and job title e.t.c. With your eyes set on the prize these challenges shouldn’t put you down.

Financial plan; A career change might take time to effect in terms of even gaining stability financially. A career change plan is therefore incomplete without a financial strategy. You might be transitioning into a career that pays less than what you are used to or be forced to take the first job offer that comes your way regardless of it being a good or bad fit.

Mentors and Career Coaches; switching careers is a life changing decision which involves lots planning and strategizing which makes it more reasonable to involve a mentor/career coach to see you through the rough times with all the uncertainties you might have. The ultimate decision however lies with you, the career coach or mentor plays the facilitator who is meant to help you realize your talents.

You might be scared to risk the job security, but this only makes you your own challenge, craving for change while at the same time afraid to take risks. It’s only best if you take calculated risks; changing careers with a plan.

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