How to prepare if you’re considering a career change

If you find yourself bored or stagnant in your current position, it might be a good idea to look for new and exciting opportunities. When searching for a new career, you’re going to have to be flexible and open to changes that might take an adjustment period.

While this is easier said than done, it’s important to set realistic expectations before pursuing a new job opportunity.

How do you know if the change is going to be right for you? It’s not an easy decision, so let’s go over some information that might help you decide.

Do Research Around Your Career Change

Don’t jump the gun when making a career change without any due diligence. Do your research and come up with a list of opportunities or job fields you want to pursue. 

You don’t want to be in a position of leaving one dead-end job to start another. You can do some research on the Bureau of Labor Statistics to review future job demand, market wages and salaries, and other information to help make a well-informed decision.

Ask Around

If you are looking to make a career change within your own company, reach out to your colleagues. Ask them about the job or team and get their feedback. Having a strong internal network within your company will help create new opportunities and give insight into what to expect.

The more people within your company that know and trust you, the more likely they are to be transparent about future opportunities. If you’re looking at external career opportunities, you can also look at Glassdoor to see candid reviews of company culture, salary, and benefits.

Know your skill sets

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Know what you are good at and what you have to offer. While some careers seem great from the outside looking in, know yourself so you don’t end up in a position you might regret.

For example, if you aren’t a people person, exploring positions within HR or Sales might not be a great fit for you because they usually interact with many people regularly.

It’s good to know what skills you are strong in and where your opportunities for development, so you choose a career you can grow comfortable with.

Transfer into a new field

Perhaps the career change isn’t quite what you’re looking for, but you want to explore a new industry. Many industries require a lot of the same skills, so you can make a career switch without worrying about going back to school.

For example, if you have a background in finance but work in a small consulting firm with no more growth potential, maybe you should look into larger companies or corporations. Finance is a needed profession in many fields, so you could explore technology companies, banking, and aviation, and so on to get a fresh start.

While your current employer might be capped for opportunity, a larger company or a different industry might offer you that opportunity that you have been searching for.

John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.”

Like the quote above says, not all change is bad, and it’s always prudent to have an eye towards the future. It can make us a little uncomfortable, but getting out of that comfort zone is often necessary when looking for ways to improve ourselves. 

Many people who move around acquire new skills and knowledge that give them the competitive edge that today’s employers look for. In the end, this leads to more opportunities and feelings of accomplishment, so don’t limit yourself.