If you seriously dread another work week on Monday morning, you could be stressed out, or it might be time to consider changing your career. You might not be passionate about your job every day, and that’s okay, but sometimes dread can be a sign of other underlying problems.
According to an article from CNBC, you might be stuck in the wrong career if you feel underpaid, unappreciated, you are not challenged enough or if you feel like you need a change. If this is your situation, you might want to start a new career.
It can be intimidating to launch a new career especially if you have been in the workforce for many years. Although you might be concerned about financial insecurity and working your way up in a new field, changing your career can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. According to a recent survey from Indeed, as many as 49% of professionals have changed careers and 88% of career changers say that they are happier since making that change.
If you are considering making the shift, here are five ways to launch a new career:
1. Network, network, network!
Your network is your biggest asset. Making connections in your potential career field is an ideal way to help you get a start in the new industry. Networking connections influence hiring in as many as 85% of all jobs. Connecting with other professionals allows you to display your skills and seek advice.
You can ask people in your network about the industry. Questions like how you can leverage your experiences, what the average day looks like and what steps you can take to launch your career can help you network and find the career you want. Some professionals might have been in a similar situation and changed their career like you plan to do. There are many networking platforms like LinkedIn and many networking events where you can make connections.
2. Do your research
Making a career change is a major decision and should not be made overnight. Talk with your family, friends and others who can help you evaluate your options and gain some objectivity. Sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can also give you some insights into what qualifications are needed, what the career outlook is and what your potential salary could be.
Every career pathway is different so you should make sure that you know what you are getting into. For some career choices, the transition might take several years while others might have a a more drastic transition. Some people can continue to work their old jobs while pursuing their new career.
3. Do you need to go back to school?
Education can play a vital role in your transition to a new career, or enriching your current one.
If you want to start a new career that requires a new or advanced degree, check out your options online. Start conversations with academic counselors at potential schools.
For example, if nursing is a career you’d like to pursue, you could look into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. If you already earned some college credits and want to use them toward a degree, you could potentially enroll in Herzing University's Interdisciplinary Studies bachelor’s degree program. The program is designed for professionals who are looking to create their own unique career paths in healthcare, technology, business and public safety.
For other careers, you might be able to advance your career by pursuing a certification. Every industry has its own approved certifications such as certifications for cybersecurity professionals in the IT industry. There are also post-masters certifications that professionals can choose to pursue. Always be sure to check what the requirements are for your new career.
4. Create a plan
Once you have determined the career you’d like to pursue, make a map of how you are going to reach your goal. There might be some setbacks along the way, but you will at least have an idea of how you can launch your new career. It will also help you recognize any gaps that you may have overlooked.
It is important to ask yourself important questions at this stage, such as:
- How long will it take to start my new career?
- How will my finances change?
- Will I need to go back to school?
- How can I get experience in my new career?
- What do I need to do before I start my new career?
5. Find your personal brand
It helps if your personal brand and passion match your career goals. For example, if you are a nurse who primarily works with patients but would like to become a nurse educator, highlight your passion for learning and how you have taught other people in your professional and personal experience.
Your personal brand is how you stand out from other people in your industry when you apply for a job. What unique and valuable gifts can you bring to the role? Employers should be able to see what makes you stand out from other employees or applicants. You can highlight your previous experiences to show how they define you as a professional.
Changing careers will come with its ups and downs but it can also be an exciting experience. There are a few more things you should keep in mind:
- Be patient. You did not start your original career overnight and most likely won’t be able to start your new career right away either. It will sometimes be discouraging, but it is important to keep your goal in mind.
- Get support. No one can do this on their own! It is important to have a support group or a mentor that you can go to with your concerns and questions.
- Stay confident. There will be days when you want to give up but have confidence that you will accomplish your goals!