If you’re stuck in a 9 to 5 job and you want to change career, you’re not alone. In fact, statistics show that the average person changes careers around 5 to 7 times during their working life. People seek career shifts for several reasons, from career goals or values changing to making more money.
However, before you decide, evaluate your current job, explore your career options, and do the following things below — making the transition as smooth as possible.
Polish Your Skills
Seek different ways to develop new skills in your current job to help you pave the way for a change. For instance, if you’re looking to transition into the client relations industry, master how a reliable customer onboarding system works or write grant proposals if you want to dive into the legal field. If your current company offers in-house training, sign up for as many courses as you can. You can also take evening classes at a local college or apply for an online course.
Assess Your Skills, Values, and Interests
Recall your previous successful roles, volunteer work, and projects to determine which career field you fit in the best. Additionally, it’s also wise to see if your core value or skills are addressed in your current job. Discuss these with your networking contacts to see if they have any recommendations, or if you want advice from a professional, consult with a career counselor or career coach. There are also free online tools that can help you pinpoint the best career alternatives for you.
Evaluate several fields to see which ones can be the right choice for your career. Find out as much as you can about these and try reaching out to the personal contacts in those industries and request informational interviews to see that particular sector’s potential and what it can bring to your career. You can start by checking out the source of contacts of your college alumni career network (if applicable) or make a profile on LinkedIn and browse contacts linked to your career fields of interest.
Try it First
Before diving into a new career, seek volunteer or freelance activities associated with your target field to test and see if it’s the right one for you. For instance, if you’re considering becoming a publisher, volunteer editing your local school’s PTA newsletters or if you’re interested in working with animals, work at a local shelter on weekends.
Do It With Others
Even if you have the motivation and desire to change careers, it can be daunting as many worries about the risk of losing the security of their current jobs — leaving them stuck. To fight this, it’s best to deliberately put others around you and seek out others in your workplace that also want to escape, hire career coaches, and start meeting with people that are in the field of your next target career.
Doing this gives you various ideas, connections, and accountability — all of which can help you make the right moves in your work life, smoothly transition to your next career, and meet new peers in the process.
If you’re starting to dread going to work or you feel like you’re wasting your talents away in your current job, it may be time for a career shift. However, before throwing caution to the wind and quitting, do some careful thinking and do the things mentioned to grab your dream job and succeed.