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How to Make a Successful Career Change

One must identify career options that would make a perfect fit for their passion or strength.

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One must identify career options that would make a perfect fit for their passion or strength.

As we advance in our careers, we sometimes experience stagnation, occupational burnout or life-changing events. The most natural action is usually to change jobs. Sometimes a complete change in careers in terms of our passions and value system is the ultimate solution. A career change at mid-life is usually very challenging because it requires retraining and a mental shift. It is sometimes inevitable for various reasons.

Reasons Why We May Need a Career Change

  • Change of heart - Sometimes a career change may emanate from a change in passions. A career banker may shift to network marketing because of their passion for networking and socialization.

  • New experiences - Having spent many years in a particular field, one may desire to experience new challenges. A career change is a great opportunity to take up new roles and gain new skills

  • Flexibility - A strict work environment can be a bit demanding and stressful. In such a case one may opt for a flexible work schedule that is friendlier.

  • Illness - Prolonged illness may keep someone out of employment for long periods. In the long term, one may be forced to settle for a less strenuous job.

Factors to Consider Before Making a Career Change

A career change can have lifelong consequences. It is, therefore, necessary to assess the importance and implications before jumping the gun. For a successful career change, one must take the following steps.

1. Evaluate the Need

Before taking the plunge, you must consider if a career change is a solution to your needs. A change is a lifetime decision and should not be made out of emotions. One should only take the leap if they are sure that it’s the only option.

2. Carry Out a Career Assessment

One must identify career options that would make a perfect fit for their passion or strength. Career assessments can help one identify available career options for their personality.

3. Consider Skills, Strength, and Passion

A new career may require new skill sets or attributes. Carefully consider the demands of your chosen field and enroll for new classes where need be.

4. Economic Viability

A career shift should not interfere with your financial status. Always consider if the new field is marketable and can elevate your livelihood. A shift should result in an upgrade.

5. Key Relationships

Other than what it will take to make a career change, consider how the people around you will be affected. A demanding career shift may affect relationships. It is important to prepare close family members about the expected change.

Practical Steps to Follow For a Successful Career Change

Having put the above into consideration, one may proceed with the career change process by taking the following steps;

1. Make a Skills Based Resume

With a career shift, work experience is not important to the new field. Some skills are transferable and applicable to every work environment. Your resume should bring out your key skills and how they'll benefit the new role.

2. Get Some Experience

Even though you lack experience for the new career, you can gain some by offering your services for free. An example is volunteering at a local community organization or a friend's company in exchange for a referral. Another option is offering your services as a freelancer. This helps build on experience and confidence.

3. Contact Network

Finding a job is a daunting task. It helps when you have a heads up. Having a network you can reach out may ease the stresses in a job search. Your network should be your point of reference when making a career switch.

4. Get the Job

The final step is to go for the job or assignment. Make applications or get in touch with the right people for your first assignment. Build your confidence through study, coaching, and practice.

As much as a career change may be high risk in mid-life, it is the best decision ever if carefully considered. It brings about a new lease of life and a whole new perspective about life.

About the author

Getrude Budambula is an Independent Human Resource Professional and a Freelance Writer. She enjoys sharing knowledge as a Content Writer and has authored several professional articles. 


Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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