People seek out career changes for many different reasons. To some, it could be because of a shift in management that led to a different type of experience. Maybe their own personal values changed, leaving them wanting more out of their career. Or perhaps they took parental leave and never returned, now looking to get back into the workforce.
The process of change can steer a person into never making the decision to take a risk and go after what they truly want. And that’s only the first step. The second: the thought of transitioning and not being in the situation they are in today.
Talk about a mind game. Imagine a world where people didn’t take risks and every single person was pursuing a career that they weren’t passionate about. But hey, that’s what pays the bills. In one way or another, every person working in a job hasn’t thought about doing something completely different than they sought out to do just because they could.
So, what if they did it? What if they took the risk and made that career move, that transition? Change can be daunting, but the risk could be rewarding. And if nobody ever took a risk, we wouldn’t know what possibilities are on the other side.
Now that the risk is finally being considered and the career transition is in full start mode, where to even begin could be the first thought that comes to mind. Being out of the workforce for quite some time can prevent from having the skills to walk (or Zoom) into an interview. What were thought of as core values of an employer have now slowly changed in priority to the times. And the path planned out just isn’t the clear view anymore.
Transitions aren’t easy, but they can be with the right resources and guidance. Here are a few steps if you’re considering a career transition and have no idea where to start:
Evaluate the current path
Before you can consider transitioning into another career, you first should evaluate your current one. What’s working? What’s not working? Why are you feeling the way you are? You’re choosing to take a risk. You want to make sure it’s for the right reasons. Everyone will have their own opinion but at the end of the day, what gets you out of bed in the mornings and excited? What’s going to fulfill all your needs and desires as a person who has certain expectations and self-worth?
Assess skill sets
This may seem a bit obvious but necessary and here’s why. In your current role, you may be using some of your skills while others are tucked away for safe keeping. These might end up being skills you’ll need to reuse come a new career. Get ready to dust them off because come evaluation time, these hidden skills may set you apart from another candidate. For those who are looking to re-enter into the workforce, you should be thinking of all the skills you’ve had to develop with not being in a position that requires you to attend in-person meetings or deadlines. Be sure to tune into skills you may have developed while being out of a work environment (raising children counts). What you bring to the table is what’s going to set you up for success when it comes to applying to new roles, switching industries, and getting back into work mode.
Consider alternative career choices
This is the time to get creative. Think about all the things you’ve always pictured yourself doing. Now, Google that as a job opportunity. Does it exist? Could you follow a passion and turn it into a successful career? Absolutely yes. The world is full of potential what ifs but it’s those that act on them that find out if they truly exist and work. Consider making a list of all your interests. Could you find a career to align with that interest? Maybe you’ve never considered it because it wasn’t a typical 9-5 job. Maybe everyone else said it wouldn’t provide enough financial stability. Remind yourself of why you’re taking this risk. Changing the current path for the potential of an even greater one is the goal. You would be doing a disservice to yourself if you didn’t take the risk on the things that fall within your passions.
Discuss with others
The best way to learn about a career path is by asking someone who is currently in it. Connect with people within your network or ask others to connect you so you can ask questions and learn as much as possible. Understanding the day-to-day, the work-life balance, salary expectations, growth potentials, and everything in between are the things to discuss with others before considering a major career move. Although taking risks is a part of the journey, making sure the high-level details match with your priorities and values.
Invest in the future
There may be a moment in time while after researching a specific career path that the bottom line is, you’re missing a key expertise. Nobody is going to expect you to be a master at something if you’ve never pursued it. But again, to stand out in a crowd, having an additional license or certificate in a specific line of work may help with a transition. Invest in yourself by making sure you are bringing all that you can to an interview when looking to make that career change. This will also show the employer or company how serious you are at taking the risk of starting a new journey and making a career transition into something new yet exciting for you.
The benefits of a career transition are far more than not taking what could be the best decision. Are you looking to grow financially, consume a better work-life balance, seeking out new challenges, and no longer passionate about the field you are in? If you said yes to any of these, you could be ready to make a career transition that could change your life!
For additional career resources and relevant topics, check out Luminary for available programs and events that uplift, up-skill, and propel others forward through all phases of their professional journey!
A first-of-its-kind, Luminary is a membership-based global professional growth platform and collaboration hub created for women and male allies to address the systemic challenges impacting women across all industries and sectors. The ultimate career advocate, Luminary provides “real world” advice, tools, and resources to advance, build, connect, and develop through programming and networking opportunities.