Research indicates that almost half of the UK workforce wants to change careers, and the coming of 2016 is likely to act as a catalyst for many of them. The risks are weighed against potential benefits, but the main consideration is how such a shift could be effectively accomplished. Fortunately, though each person’s situation will be different, there are several near-universal steps that can increase your chances of making that change successfully.
Before you do anything else, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you want to leave your current position?
- What do you really want to be doing?
- Why do you want to be doing it?
A career change will too often happen for the wrong reasons. Make sure you get personal so that you can identify exactly what you want from a new opportunity. This won’t just help you start; it will help you keep going if the going should get rough.
You can now begin to plan more concretely. Research current job and career trends, examining where your chosen field is heading and whether you need to take the time to achieve any qualifications that you currently lack. Think about your own skills and experience, then try to identify where you would fit in. Remember, the field you’re interested in may have changed substantially in just the last few years.
Think before you leap
People often see a career change as a chance to make a brand new start. It certainly can be, but it’s important to realise that you might not be able to radically change your career as quickly as you’d like. You might need to learn new skills or study; you might find that you’d be better to stay in your current position and work towards a new one via a series of moves instead of in one big leap.
Finally, make sure you network with people who are currently involved in the field you’d like to enter, but do so tactfully. Before you directly contact someone, take the time to read about their accomplishments and understand their place in the industry. You can also attend events aimed at that industry. This can be the perfect opportunity to understand its current trajectory and identify your place within it.
2016 could be the year that you break into the career you’ve always dreamed of. Just follow these steps to avoid making any mistakes.