At some point or another, we all wonder what it would be like to have a different career. Maybe you’re bored with your job duties, stuck at your current salary or just craving change. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. job tenure is four and a half years. However, making a career change is a big decision, and before making the leap you’ll want to consider the following:
It’s important that you analyze why you want to move on, and if you’re even ready to make a career change. Are you just having a bad day at work or are you truly longing for something more? Amber Conrade, director of career services for Globe Education Network, suggests that you ask yourself these questions before making a career transition.
“If you’re feeling burned out or stuck, this may be an opportunity to make a change,” Conrade says. “A job in a dying industry, that doesn’t tap into your skillset or offer advancement, may also prompt you to seek employment in a new career field.”
Consider Your Options
You’ve decided to explore new career options, now where do you start? Conrade says you should first consider what will make you happy.
“Whether it’s the pay, hours or a specific field, you should really know what you want. You should also look at where there are opportunities, the job outlook and if more schooling is needed,” says Conrade. “Don’t forget to also take into account what may be important to the hiring manager and what skills and experience are required for the job you want.”
Test Drive New Possibilities
The next step is ensuring you have the skills and experience to land a job in your new career. Conrade recommends starting with research.
“Volunteer, job shadow and conduct informational interviews to determine the skills you’ll need to qualify for jobs that interest you.”
To get some hands-on training before landing a job, Conrade also recommends seeking out internships in your field of choice.
“Don’t be afraid to take an unpaid internship. You’ll still be getting important experience and you’ll be able to build your resume.”
Build Your Credentials
In the fast-paced, technology-driven world we live in, it’s important to stay up-to-date with your skillset. Whether it’s going back to school, taking a class or renewing a license or certification, you want to make sure you have the proper credentials to make a career change.
“If your new career requires new skills, you may want to think about enrolling in a degree program that will prepare you to compete with others who will be applying for the same job,” Conrade says. “Having the official education to back up what experience you may already have will only give you an advantage.”
Everyone knows having a good paper resume is essential to landing a job, but your online profile is just as important. Increasing your presence online will increase your chances of landing full-time employment.
“Because people are changing jobs every four years, it’s important more now than ever that you build an online presence that showcases your experience and achievements through professional networking sites like LinkedIn,” says Christine Karel, social media manager for Globe Education Network. “Let’s face it, competition is fierce. If you want to gain the upper hand over the competition, you will need to treat building your professional reputation as a job itself by establishing connections and networking with the right people. The goal with using LinkedIn is to never have to apply for another job again.”
Now that you have the tools and information needed to successfully transition into a new job, you’re ready to take the first step to test drive new possibilities. With the proper consideration, experience and credentials, you’ll be on your way to a new career in no time!