It’s never too late to change careers. We spend hundreds of thousands of hours ‘working’ and life is too short to clock in and clock out. And if you work hard, you deserve to find something you find fulfilling. But now that you’ve started down a career path or started walking along the career treadmill, here are five simple steps that can help you change careers effectively.
1) Step back and self-assess
What would you do if you weren’t scared? Force yourself to answer the tough questions! If you don’t know yourself, you cannot build a successful and enjoyable career. Take into consideration what your priorities are, your interests, ideals, and step back from your current role to envision yourself in what something grander. Empower yourself to think about the future and what you are capable of. Take the time to talk to friends and find mentors who you can talk to.
2) Move on
The most challenging part about changing careers is self-doubt and falling into patterns that leave you feeling stuck! What were the barriers in your previous role? Dig deep and prioritize what you are looking for in your ideal work environment. Be accountable and take responsibility for things that you can change in your way of thinking and approaching work.
3) Breakdown, breakthrough
One of the best tips I ever got in my career was to pursue the uphill challenges. If you have a dream about something you want to achieve, set goals, and take small steps towards it. Sometimes it can get overwhelming when you are looking at a dream that is so far away, but you will also find following your vision makes it feel a lot less like work and more like an adventure.
4) Explore & Ask
You can’t buy jeans without trying them on. The same goes for careers! If you think you want to be a teacher go volunteer at a camp, if you want to be a financial planner attend networking meetings with people in the field to learn more about their day-to-day! Always push yourself to learn more about the industry and ask questions.
5) Plan, plan, plan
To avoid feeling like a hamster spinning in a wheel, give yourself a 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plan. Hold yourself accountable. Build milestones that you can achieve (big or small). If you want to become a journalist, start writing articles and build your portfolio.
Just remember that if you dream of finding a career that is meaningful to you, you have to commit to change, be adaptable and most of all, put in the time to self-reflect.