There are many reasons why one would want to change careers. Perhaps in your current job, you've finally succumbed to burnout, and you feel there's no other way to address it than to bid that job farewell and change careers. You may feel like you're not getting paid fairly, too. Hence, you're ready to explore greener pastures. It is also likely that you simply want to test your mettle and go out of your comfort zone. Whatever your motivation might be for a career change, it's valid—and kudos to you for having the guts to make such a decision in the first place.
Indeed, deciding to change careers is no easy feat. It takes guts. You will go through challenges left and right, such as the following.
If you've worked in sales for a decade, chances are you've already accumulated a lot of contacts. From clients to suppliers, your phone book has filled up with high-reward leads over the years. Shifting to a new career change in a different industry would mean building a new network from scratch.
Thankfully, that won't be entirely difficult in the age of social media. That is if you're willing to go out of your way to get friendly with random strangers without coming across as off-putting. Here, you'll need to scour all the social media platforms at your disposal and link up with the right people.
Take your networking outside the digital space, too. For example, you could attend relevant trade fairs, giving you a treasure trove of contacts.
Ideally, you quit your current career with enough savings to sustain you until you make it on your new career change. After all, you still have to pay rent, buy groceries, and pay bills between jobs. Plus, even if you've saved enough, it's also clever not to rely entirely on that emergency fund. A better recourse would be creating side hustles while you try to land the main hustle you've been dreaming of.
You can find side hustles online. With a simple home office setup, you can pursue online jobs based on your skill set. For example, if you're adept with Photoshop, you can receive design commissions. Meanwhile, you can work as a virtual assistant if you're excellent at organizing. In short, do whatever you need to make ends meet while trying to land your dream job.
It's normal to go through imposter syndrome, which could even heighten once you try to pursue a career change. Imposter syndrome will make you doubt yourself. It might even make you question whether you made the right decision to leave behind your old job.
Here, you should be aware of what your mind is trying to do and combat the negativity as much as possible. If you lack confidence, turn the concern into an opportunity.
Take note of your skills and talent. Focus on them, hone them further, and see how they might be useful concerning your new career path. Allow yourself to learn new skills especially those you deem necessary to your new profession.
If you're making career change at an older age, it's easy to fall prey to the thought that there are not many opportunities available to you. It's time to recalibrate that perception. It might have been true in the past, but in this day and age, equal opportunity laws have made it possible for older members of the labor force to pursue the jobs of their dreams, so long as they are qualified.
Even senior citizens can still work if that's what they want, especially since it's now easy to find the ideal work from home job suited to old workers. It will only require learning gadgets and technology. If those are not your strong suit, don't get discouraged. You can pay someone to teach you about computers or DIY your tech education using online resources such as YouTube.
When you leave your old career in search of a new career change opportunity, it's quite likely that your primary motivation is to find a renewed sense of purpose. The goal is to let that purpose serve as your life's anchor and add meaning to it.
For some people, that might be easy. They've probably dreamed about that purpose already. Perhaps they've realized it in one of those light bulb moments while they're on a long drive. But, if that purpose is difficult for you to pinpoint, do not fret.
Here, the first order of business is to go back to the things that excite you. What are your passions? Is there any way for those passions to translate into a career change opportunity?
Perhaps you always enjoyed being at the center of the parties held in your previous company. You always had fun hosting team-building activities. Why not take that inclination seriously and start your own YouTube channel and be the star of your own show?
There's the challenge of finding one's purpose, and there's also the challenge of feeling like your purpose twists and turns in many different directions. Sure, it's interesting to become a modern renaissance individual, but do you have it in you to sustain various commitments simultaneously? If not, learn to edit.
Out of your ten choices, pick up to three. Focus on those opportunities. Try to be the best in them, and resist the temptation to be a jack of all trades.
The obstacles presented here are not to discourage you from following your heart. If career change is what you genuinely want, chances are you have it in you to see the decision through all the way to the outcome you envision. The purpose of pointing out these challenges is to prepare you for the change and equip you with the right strategies.
Keep in mind that it won't be a walk in the park. But there'll be exciting things to see along the way, so savor the experience and believe what's meant for you will happen.