Changing Careers: What You Need to Know Before You Leave

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So you realize a few things about your job:  you’re in a dead-end job, you’ve reached your maximum potential at your current employer, you’re not in a role where you feel challenged, and you’re nowhere near where you thought you would be when you “grew up.”

exchanging-business-cardsSound familiar?

Before you just leave your job, there are some things you need to first understand. Here are a few tips for when you are ready for a career change:

  1. Know what motivates you. Whether you decide to change careers either internally or externally, make sure you have a good handle on what drives you and what gets you out of bed in the morning excited. Look not only at your current position, but also at your hobbies—things you do outside of the 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. world.  Some of the best and brightest companies have come from people’s passions. Something to consider is taking a self-assessment of where your true motivation lies.
  2. Training and Education. Take a good, hard look at your current skill set and weigh that against what you are looking to do. Are you going to need to invest time and money into coursework or training for your new career path?  You may want to even invest in a course just to “test drive” if you really like what you are looking to get into.
  3. Networking. Though you may not know where to start when trying to enter a new field, it will be the people in your network—colleagues, friends, family—who will give you leads, offer advice on the best route to take to reach your career destination and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network. After all, who knows you better than the people that you are already interacting with on a daily basis? You should also consider attending a meeting of a professional organization in your new field. You can talk with folks who are currently in the type of role that you would like to be and gain valuable knowledge in your decision making process.
  4. Keep an open mind. Set goals for yourself but also be flexible to the adjustments that you may need to make in your employment status, salary level, job title and even the possibility for advancement. You may need to take a step back to be able to take on a role that is ideally suited for your career change. You could also be your own boss. But keep all avenues open, you never know where you next career may lie.

Find your motivation, stay focused, and you will find your next career – no matter what it looks like!

Holly Ewart counsels clients in the areas of Executive Search, Organizational Developments, Executive Coaching and Career Transition for OI Global Partners – Innovative Career Consulting (Denver & Cincinnati). She can be reached at holly.ewart@innovativecareerconsulting.com.

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