Planning to change your career ? Do it first

You may have identified your next career, but giving up the security of the current one will take energy, money and time. Before you quit your current gig, take these five expert-recommended steps to be sure you’re making the right decision.

Evaluate your current work life and why you want to switch careers.

You may dislike your boss or that particular work environment, but a lot of times it’s not really the career specifically they need to change – it’s the dynamic in their current workplace.

Or it may indeed be the career itself. You may find the same unhappiness while working in multiple environments.

Identify the source of your dissatisfaction by making a list of what you dislike in your job. Disliking multiple things related to the fundamental function of your role may signal it’s time for a change.

Explore what it takes to enter your desired field and the likely places of employment. Just know your interest if it is changing and the growth potential in coming or future job. Take a survey on the existing people who are in the same job which you are looking for. You need to workout on details on different jobs and median salaries, the projected outlook for opportunities, and education and training requirements.

Find people in the sort of role you aspire to and ask to pick their brain about the job market and local outlook. LinkedIn is one resource, but also make connections through friends and family referrals, industry conferences, alumni groups, local professional groups or meetups and business journals.

Ask questions that test your assumptions about your desired career, such as what the day-to-day duties are and how the majority of time is spent.

Those are the most important questions because you may have a hyper-glamorized view about television news, for example, but if mostly you’re spending your time working phones and doing logistics for catering for guests then that might not be the thing you want to spend your time doing.

Evaluate your skills, on your own or by consulting a certified career counselor, to see which are transferrable to your new career and what you need to improve upon. You may have to take a certificate program or enroll in online courses, or go back to school altogether if your desired new career requires a different college degree.

To fill gaps in specific skills, take on additional responsibilities at your job or consider volunteering. You could do volunteer work in a local community organization and manage a project. Now you’re building skills to add to your resume to fill in those gaps.

A job posting in your desired field will list the skills and responsibilities required; use them to tailor your resume. Include only those achievements and strengths that relate to the new career.

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