How to Transition Through a Career Change

Are you looking to change careers, but you aren’t sure how to go about it? There are right and wrong ways to transition into a new career, and we will cover some of the best methods to use to make the switch and make it smoothly.

Research Your new career

Before making the switch, make sure you know what you are getting into. Some careers seem fun and interesting at first glance, but then may not be quite what you think they are after you spend more time with them.

You want to make certain that the career you are looking to get into is exactly what you believe it to be. You don’t want to enter that career with a bunch of misconceptions. Take time to look up facts about that new chosen career of yours and what it entails. Find out what it takes to break into it, what a person in that career tends to do all day, and what kind of requirements there are for advancing to the level you want to in that career.

Talk to Someone in That career

You also want to spend some time in your research speaking to someone who has been in that career for a while. It is particularly helpful to talk to someone who has had success in your new chosen career. You can find out what they did to be successful in their job and what kind of challenges they faced.

Be sure to come ready with a number of questions to ask. Think about what you might want to ask about ahead of time so you can be prepared and you can get the answers that you need.

You can get a lot of good information this way and perhaps find out details from the person that you would not find just by researching online. Talking to a real person who has spent time in that career can be eye opening. You may not have second thoughts about the career afterwards, but you will be more prepared and you will come into the career knowing what to expect.

Secure Your New Position

Don’t make the jump in a new job (and certainly not a new career) until you are sure you have the new job secured. You want to have  work to do and a way to pay the bills, so it would be dangerous to go into a new career if you don’t know if you have the job yet.

Getting excited about a change of jobs and  making plans to transition are all well and fine, but if you have not made certain that you have a job to go to, then don’t leave your current job.

It is easy to jump the gun when you are excited, and we get that, but you have to be careful about making that career jump too quickly and rashly. You should not even turn in your two weeks’ notice to your current employer until you have the new job very well secured. It is presumptuous to make any kind of major decision on your current job without knowing that the new job will definitely be waiting for you.

What if things don’t go as smoothly in real life as they have in your head? What if all of our plans don’t work out? You will be left without your current job and without a new job to go to. You will have to figure out a way to pay your bills and meet our obligations.

Most people do not have the freedom to transition from one job to the next until they have made the new job a certainty.

Leave on Good Terms

You want to make sure that your old job is left in the good graces of your employers. Don’t try to burn the bridges and leave dramatically just because you are moving careers. You would be wise to keep up a good relationship with your current employers before you move to your new job. That way, you can use them as a reference later on.

Many people think that when they change careers that their old career doesn’t matter anymore. You never know when you may need those old contacts, though. And you might even want to go back to that old career someday. It would be smart to leave on good terms with the old employers so that you can make use of that relationship in the future, if you need to.

Prepare for a Major Commitment

Going into any new job can be challenging. There are new rules to learn and new people to get to know. You will need your mind and your schedule clear if you are going to make the transition go smoothly.

See if you can take a little free time at home and not give yourself a lot of responsibility to do. You might want to hire someone to clean the floors and clean your dishes while you mentally prepare for the new career.

Look for areas of your life where you can give yourself a chance to relax a little, perhaps postponing some social events just to make space in your schedule for the demands of the new career.

Your excitement about the new job can cloud your judgment, and you have to be careful about what you expect from the career change. There are going to be difficulties and problems that you simply cannot anticipate, and these will come with any career change. Try to free up some time in your personal schedule to deal with them as they arise.

The initial part of the transition into the new career will probably be the most challenging. We suggest not letting the pressure get to you and try not to be stressed out. You can just try to take it easy at first and enjoy the newness and the change while not worrying too much about all the difficulties. You will sort those out in time. 


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