If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of your waking hours at work – up to a third of your time, according to research. So, it’s important to like what you do and feel like you’re in the right place.

If not, and you think it may be time for a career change, the idea can be exciting and daunting at the same time. But by following some simple steps, you’ll be able to decide for sure if you want to follow a new professional path, and build your chances of making a successful transition.

Start with a self-assessment.

The first step in making a career transition is assessing what exactly it is you need to change, and what you’re looking for. Take some time to reflect on whatever it is in the current state of your career that isn’t working for you. The issue(s) may be:

  • Work/life balance
  • Flexibility
  • Salary
  • Job security
  • A desire to go into a different field
  • Company culture, or others.

Be honest with yourself as you find the answers you need.

Do your homework.

Once you have a firm idea of what you’d like to do, it’s time to start researching your desired choice. Consider:

  • What qualifications and experience will you need?
  • What are the current job prospects like?
  • Will there be room for growth in your new role?
  • How much can you expect to earn when you first transition – and in the future?

Make sure that whatever information you glean aligns with your career needs and expectations.

Make a plan.

Set SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound – goals and create an action plan for your career change. This will help ensure you stay on track and monitor your progress along the way.

Learn how to sell yourself.

When you’re looking for a job – especially in a new area – you’re a salesperson. You’re also the product. So learn how to promote yourself. It helps to make a list of the reasons you want to make this change, and why your specific skills and personality are right for it. Then you can speak to these strengths in your resume, cover letter, interviews, and networking interactions.

Speaking of networking …

Just do it, at every opportunity. Kick your professional networking efforts into high gear. If you’re shy or introverted, start small: mention your plans among friends and family, and take it from there.

Join professional organizations, set up coffee chats and informational interviews, and build connections. You never know when the right door may open.

At PrideStaff Northern Kentucky, our focus is on finding the right fit for job seekers. Beyond simply placing people in open jobs, our vision extends far beyond that, to helping you achieve your goals and find success in whatever field and role matter the most to you. Let our experienced career counselors help you find the right answers and be your partner for the life cycle of your career. Contact us today to learn more.

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