Ten Tips For Career Changers

by Joanne Mallon - Date: 2007-04-05 - Word Count: 681 Share This!

1. Don't rush it - Is it really a case of you hating your job, or is it just that you don't like it right now? You may find that what you need is to make changes within your current job, rather than running into a new one.

2. Get Passionate - What's really important to you? What turns you on? What do you like doing so much you'd do it for free? To find a job that you'll really be passionate about, you need to delve deep and uncover the things that make you tick. It can also help to pinch the kids' crayons and draw a picture of what your ideal job would look like. Drawing stimulates the creative right hand side of your brain and will inspire new thoughts and ideas.

3. Talk to the experts. Virtually every job looks vastly different from the outside than it does on the inside. You may fancy the life of a vet, tending to ickle sick kittens, whilst in reality vets might spend more of their time with their hand up a cow's bottom. Talk to at least 3 people who already do the job you're after to get the lowdown on what it's really like. Ask them what are the things they wish they'd known when they got started.

4. Get experienced. If talking to the experts hasn't put you off, arrange to shadow them for a day or two. Work experience isn't just for school kids - it can be helpful at any stage to give you a realistic picture of what a particular profession is like. It will also save you oodles of time and effort to find out what you like at this stage, rather than later.

5. Get some objective help - Talking to someone who's trained to help you find new opportunities will help you take a more objective bird's eye view of your situation. A trained careers advisor or coach will help you spot opportunities you mightn't have thought of on your own. It's also a good idea to read one of the many books on carerr change, such as "What Colour Is Your Parachute?" by Richard N Bolles (Ten Speed Press).

6. Make a list - Write down what are the most important things to you in an ideal job. Yes, a company Porsche and unlimited expense account would be nice, but also consider: How important are things like flexibility; creativity; working environment etc? Do you like working in a team or are you more of an independent operator? How do you feel about managing staff and taking the lead? Do you want a job that challenges you or one that you can do easily? The clearer you are about what you want, the more likely you are to get it.

7. Get Your finances sorted - changing career may well involve an investment in time and money, especially if you have to retrain or do voluntary work. Make a detailed inventory of what your financial commitments are and start putting something away for a new job fund.

8. What's next? Changing career can be a hugely scary thing to do, which is why so many people put it off. Breaking down the change into more manageable chunks will make it seem more achievable. What is the tinitest, easiest thing you can do to get the ball rolling?

9. Think about what will happen if you don't change - Let's say you decided to stay where you are, and were still in the job you're in now in 10 years' time? If the idea fills you with horror, then it's probably time to go.

10. Remember that it's OK to take a leap of faith - many people are put off changing career because they're scared about what will happen if it doesn't work out. But would you rather go to your grave having given it your best shot, or do you really want to give up on your dreams? Career change is becoming more and more common, and nobody will think any the less of you if yours doesn't work out - if anything, people are more likely to admire you for having had the courage to have a go.

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Joanne Mallon is a life and career coach. She specialises in helping people fulfill their potential, especially media and creative workers. For more information and a free motivation newsletter, visit http://www.JoanneMallon.com or contact info@joannemallon.con

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