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How to Make a Career Change: The Basics Explained

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Many people discover as they get older the career they’ve worked in for most of their life isn’t what they truly want to do. They realize they aren’t getting any younger and don’t want to spend the rest of their professional life in a cubicle and decide on a career change.

They don’t know how to make a career change, they just know they have to. Whether you want to leave a stressful job for something more relaxing or turn a hobby into a career, we’ll examine the steps you need to take.

Learn more about the basics of making a career change, so you’re ready to make it happen.

How to Make a Career Change: Understand Why

Why are unsatisfied with your current career? It’s imperative to understand this question before embarking on a new career. The last thing you want is to choose a completely different career and find the same problems.

Are you unsatisfied with your job, dislike your coworkers, or tired of the constant stress? Do you have a family now and want a job that has a better work-life balance or allows a more flexible schedule? Do you have life goals that can’t be met at your current position?

These are all reasons why people want a new career. Once you understand the reasons you need a new career, you can choose one that fits your requirements.

Do you need a new career or a new job? A new career is a huge step, so make sure what you dislike isn’t just a workplace issue.

Research Potential Jobs

It’s time to make that change, but to what? Do you want a job you’re already qualified for? Will you need to go back to school to get a different education? Do you want to start your own business?

If you already have a new career path chosen, then learn all you can about it. How much can you make from the job, and will It sustain your lifestyle? Are you willing to take a pay cut to live your dream job?

You’ve likely have been promoted in your current job, are you willing to start at the bottom rung of a new career? It’s important to understand the education, skill, and experience requirements before you choose a new job.

If it’s completely different from your existing job, then you might not qualify right away. If you need education, then consider taking online classes to get your requirements completed before leaving your existing job.

Workers don’t often know what they want to get into but know they need to make a change. Research jobs in various niches you’re interested in to get an idea of what’s out there. If you want to start a business, learn what you need to begin, funding, inventory, etc.

Visit online job boards or the local university to see what options are available. Do you want to move to another state or country? Are you looking for accounting jobs, then consider looking at Taxfyle.

Make a Plan

You’ve chosen your next career path, so it’s time to plan. Odds are you can’t just quit your current job, so you need to decide your goals and timeline. For many, changing careers takes months or years to complete.

The experience and education goals must be met. For example, one of the most popular second career options is a schoolteacher. People use the experience they developed in the real world and become a teacher to pass that on to the next generation.

You need a teaching certificate, so it may take a few years to get it from your local university. Would you be able to substitute teach in the meantime? For other jobs, see if you can get experience by doing freelance work.

Make a list of goals so you make forward progress towards your new job. It could be as simple as reading a particular book, learning a particular skill, etc. The idea is for you to develop a timeline that encompasses everything you need so when the time comes to leave your job and embark on your new career, you have everything you need.

Create a Nest Egg

One of the biggest obstacles people face when changing careers is uncertainty. There’s no guarantee you’ll find the job you want right away or if it will be what you wanted it to be. They worry they won’t be able to pay their bills.

Create a nest egg that encompasses at least three months of salary in case things don’t go as planned. Perhaps you don’t end up with the salary you wanted and need time to adjust, or it takes longer to find a job than you expected.

The nest egg gives you peace of mind and confidence in making the change.

Don’t Forget About Retirement

If you’ve been at your current job for a long time, then you’ve racked up money in your 401k or other retirement accounts. Before leaving your current job, contact your financial planner and see how making a career change impacts it and if you can transfer it to a new account once you have your new job.

You need to protect your future even when changing careers.

Apply for Your New Job

You’ve thought it all out and now you’re ready to commit to the undertaking. You’re now looking at job boards, not for research but positions. When you start getting interviews, prepare in advance by practicing in front of a mirror.

You likely haven’t don’t it in a while and need the practice. Research common interview questions and have your answers prepared for when they ask.

Most importantly, be yourself and relax.

Make the Change

Finding a job isn’t easy or fun, but when you’re embarking on your dream job, it will be worth it. We hope the helped you learn how to make a career change. You’re only on this planet for so long, so choose a job that makes you happy.

If you want to learn more about choosing a career path, then please explore our site.

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