Many people find themselves at a career crossroads at some point in their lives. Sometimes you may outgrow your chosen career path or you may feel you made your career choices based on the wrong reasons. Whatever the situation, a career change is a healthy and exciting step forward for many people and can be a great start to a new and fulfilling job. At the beginning of your career transition, you may find yourself caught in a career crossroads. There will be many doubts running through your mind and a lot of different pieces of advice coming from various areas of your life. It is important to take the whole transition slowly and reflect and evaluate what you want.
Read on to learn 5 ways to overcome a career crossroads.
Evaluate what you want out of your career
Think about what you want to be different in your career and what you enjoyed in your past position. It’s important to take the time to make a clear plan outlining what you want so that you do not find yourself in the same situation again. Make a list of things that are important to you in career and rank them from things that you must have in a career to things that you could go without. This will help you narrow down what you really need from a job. Be sure to include practical considerations such as pay and commute time.
This process is important because it can help you see what you like about your current job and whether it is worth trying to improve things where you are. You may realise that the company you are working for ticks all your boxes, but your position is too demanding. Having a sit down with your manager and discussing how you feel can help you figure out if there are any changes that can be made to make you enjoy your role more or whether your best option is to quit.
Plan how you will get there
Building a new career path takes time and patience. You will need to develop a plan as to how you will get to where you want to be. This means researching what qualifications you may need and how you can gain experience in the field. Switching positions can be an easier transition but changing career fields is a major decision, so be ready to put in the hard work.
Make the most of the industry connections you have
Unless you are moving to a completely different industry, you should be able to use some of the industry connections you have already made. Catch up with other people in your field and see if there are any positions vacant that you may be interested in. Use your current position as a stepping stone to your new career. If you are looking for a career in leadership, speak with your manager and find out what you need to do to get yourself there.
Keep your eyes open for any internal vacancies that may arise and have a chat with your manager about your thoughts. If you are happy with your company, try to find a way you can stay but transition into a position you enjoy more. This may be easier for your company in the long run anyway, as they usually prefer internal candidates anyway. Be sure to mention you’re willing to undertake any extra training that your new position may require, even if that means studying a short course to give you the skills you need to be successful.
Get some work experience
Find out how you can gain relevant work experience in your chosen sector. You may want to look at volunteer positions so that you can get your foot in the door. Keep in mind, that sometimes these are unpaid, so if you are in a situation that requires a constant flow of income, consider staying in your current role until you have established that you are ready to make your career move.
View it as career progression
Career changers can be a red flag for some recruiters as they usually prefer to hire candidates with more experience in the advertised position. If you are able to secure an interview for the role you want, be sure you thoroughly explain your motives for your career change. Try to frame it as a natural career progression rather than drastic change. For example, you may say that your skills and interests have always better suited the position you are applying for than the past roles you have been in. Make sure your interviewer knows that you are committed and ready for the next step in your career journey.
Career changes can be a scary time in many people’s lives but with effective planning and evaluation, you can make sure you make the right choices that get you to where you want to be.
Caroline Schmidt writes the blogs for Kangan Institute. She is passionate about education, careers, and giving advice to students of all ages.
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