Whether you are a fresh graduate or a professional wanting to shift your career, finding which and where to start can be difficult. It takes a lot of time and learning before you get to identify whether this path is the right one for you. It’s important to realize that you are free to change your career multiple times especially as you go along the journey of learning and discovering your interest.
To start, here are some steps for you to try for that successful career change:
Self-assess and self-reflect
Just like any important decision, it is vital for you to always start with an evaluation and reflection of yourself. In this step, all questions will be directed towards your wants and needs. You can start by writing down your goals as a person, specifically your career goal. A career goal is something you always dreamt of having or something you found interesting recently. The more specific you identify this, the easier it is for you to decide on what career or type of working environment you are looking for. You can also align this career goal with your financial and personal goals. If you are someone who has target savings or investments, you would probably opt to apply for a more high-paying job. If one of your personal goals is to have better mental health, you should probably look for a less demanding job and choose companies that offer mental health benefits.
To make it simpler, here are some questions you can start with:
- What are your core values as a person?
- What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
- What are your top 5 goals?
- What’s your personality?
- What are your hobbies or interests?
This part is usually where you identify your must-haves in a certain career or job. Non-negotiables are the characteristics that you determine must or must not exist for you to accept a certain job offer. This can be about salary range, benefits, work location, or even the values a certain company upholds.
Here are some questions and ideas to help you write down your non-negotiables:
- Do you have a target salary range?
- Do you have certain benefits that you need?
- Time flexibility
- Location flexibility
- Job title or level
- Work Environment
- Company values
Learning and identifying your non-negotiables in choosing a career path will help you to narrow down opportunities that will come in your journey towards your career path.
Research job opportunities
If you don’t have a specific job in mind and you are open to different options, doing some research will help you to discover more jobs in the market. Since you have already listed down your self-assessment and non-negotiables, it’s easier for you to narrow down the industries you might be interested in. It is important to align what you have written on the first two steps to this step so that it will be easier for you to have a more informed decision.
You should also consider which sectors or industries are growing especially in the coming years. This pandemic has taught everyone how one factor can greatly affect the lives of people. So, it’s important to take note of which job opportunities can go along with the sudden changes of the world.
Here are some ways you can do your research:
- Maximize your network. Ask your friends or former colleagues about possible job opportunities. You can also research their current jobs and see if you find yourself interested.
- Research interesting industries. Try to search for new industries that could align with your current self-assessment. Maybe you have a certain industry you are naturally drawn to like fashion, business, or tech industry.
- Identify interesting people. You can also start by asking yourself who are the people you look up to. It could be someone you are close to or someone famous. If there’s a person you get inspiration from, do some research or ask about their career journey. Maybe they can help you to identify where you can start.
Narrow down your list
Once you have a list of jobs, it’s now time to narrow it down to a maximum of five. Among the list that you have written, which jobs are most aligned and interesting. When you have made your selection, it is now time to research the requirements of these jobs. If you know people working in your chosen industry, you can ask them what it is like to work their job. To simplify further your list and to help you choose your top one and two, you can always go back to your steps 1 and 2 lists. These lists will serve as your guidepost to identify what job fits you best. Don’t forget to also research the job’s qualifications, requirements, salary, and opportunities.
Plan, get ready and take risks
Knowing when to change career paths is probably the hardest yet most important decision a person should choose. Most of the time, people are afraid of change especially if all their life they’ve been doing the same thing or were trained to walk a certain path. But through planning and taking the risk, you will eventually land a job that’s fulfilling enough for you.
Once you have selected that certain job or industry, you can now start to plan on how you can enter and excel in that certain path. Lookout for entry-level jobs that will give you the utmost experience. Attend training and seminars that will help you advance in your career.
Don’t forget that this is the point where you will experience a learning curve. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and do not feel bad when you discover yourself wanting to change your career path again. After all, your main goal is to grow and find the right environment where you will see yourself flourish.
Just like any kind of change, it will take time before you can finally adjust to your new career. Pay attention to the aspects of your employment that you appreciate throughout this transition period. As you discover more about yourself, your business, and what works best for you, you'll continue to grow, learn, and change
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