People change careers all the time for various reasons: maybe they’re annoyed or upset with the current state of affairs, they want to try something new, they’re not satisfied with their job position, the level of responsibility, they want to earn more money, have flexible working hours, and so on.

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Whatever reason(s) you might be personally having, if you’re thinking about making a move to a new career, you should be well prepared. The last thing you want when seeking a career change is to find your self completely lost somewhere in the middle of the whole process. 

Any occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life should be something that ultimately made you more content and satisfied. Follow these five steps that we’ve gathered here and make sure to maximize the opportunities for progress at your new line of work.

Get a New/Better Perspective at Your Present Situation

This means that you should take enough time to reflect on things the right way. Before you do anything abruptly or hastily, you should reassess your career goals and think about some of the core values that you don’t want to endanger by moving onto a new vocation.

There are hard moments and rough patches that we all go through, regardless of the particular profession. When presented with an obstacle looking at the situation from a different angle, you get a new/better perspective on things. This can be hard to achieve, so it’s recommended that you talk to someone or keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings.

You should talk about (or write down) what makes you satisfied or malcontent at your current job role. Is it the job itself or the company culture and the people with whom you work? Is it about the working hours and your earnings? After you’ve put a lot of thought into these things, you should have a clear list of all the pros and cons. If you have a list of more cons then pros, it’s time you start preparing for the next steps.

Evaluate the Career Alternatives Properly

Once you’ve gained a new perspective on things, and you’re absolutely positive that something needs to be done in regards to changing your current career path, you need to evaluate your alternatives properly.

As you can see, these first, preliminary steps mainly revolve around pondering and ruminating on things. If you don’t mull over and cogitate on things carefully, chances are you won’t make a good or sound enough decision or reach any kind of useful conclusion whatsoever. 

When you’re determining and assessing your interests, values, and skills, you need to be as honest and transparent as possible. A lot of people struggle to do this the right way, so it’s paramount that you seek professional coaching help, that’s going to make things much easier for you. Tread lightly here; this is a crucial step. If you make a wrong move and fail to get a good measure of things that concern your values, skills, and interests, there’s a high probability that you’ll make a mistake.

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When Choosing a New Vocation Try and Learn As Much As You Can Beforehand

After you’ve narrowed down a few job positions that suit you the most, it’s time to do some researching and digging. Research as much as you can about your new vocation before you actually apply for a job in this field, you need to have as many of the needed skills before applying.

Many people fail to inform themselves properly about all the specifics of the job. They see or know someone who does this, and they think about how this particular role would also suit them. Everything can seem great about this bailiwick when you’re looking from the outside perspective, but you have to actually get a step closer and see if you’re really up for this job

Sometimes we tend to see just the things that are on the surface and fail to recognize the entire background process that led to this situation. For instance, you see someone successful, and you instantly want to trade places. The point is that you need to try walking in her or his shoes first before you start throwing coins in the wishing well. The more information you gather about a particular profession, it’s more likely that you’ll be certain that it’s the right kind of move that you’re making.

Prepare Questions For the Informational Interviews

The next step you want to make, after you’ve learned about all the specifics of the new profession you’re pursuing is to prepare yourself for the informational interviews. These interviews can be a great source of information that can further help you solidify the decision to make a career change.

If you’re looking to find a good source of contacts for these informational interviews, you should probably start with your college alumni career network. This way, you can easily set up a’ job shadow,’ where you follow different people and observe their work up close. You should do this anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get a good understanding of what would be required of you at this particular job. Ideally, you’d want to do this with at least two or three people who work at different places, so you can make a better judgment call.

Try Doing the Actual Work

It’s one thing to observe others while they perform their daily tasks, but it’s a whole different thing to try doing the actual work yourself. As we’ve said before, oftentimes, it can look so easy when someone else is doing something. Picture yourself performing the job responsibilities day in and day out of the new profession you are considering. 

You can even try volunteering, depending on the line of work you’re interested in. If you’re really determined to change your profession, you should look for ways to gain much-needed experience in the field. In case volunteering is not an option, sign-up for classes that will help you upgrade your skills. 

Even though these things can’t really emulate the real experience of doing something, you’ll have a much broader picture of things, and you’ll definitely know if this career is something you actually want to pursue. For instance, let’s say you want to become a video editor. You should spend as much time as you can, actually editing videos to gain a better understanding of all the things that this job position involves. If you can do this for an extended period of time and still feel good about it, then you can be sure you’ve made a sound decision in regards to changing careers.

In Conclusion

Making a career change can be a big decision in anyone’s life, so it’s of utmost importance that you take a proper and meticulous approach here. There are multiple different reasons why someone would want to make a move to a new profession, but regardless of your particular situation, these five steps are indispensable and of the highest priority. Only after you’ve made sure that you’ve gone through all of them you can be certain that you’ve made the right decision.

By Michael Deane

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle, or catch up with him on Twitter.