Mistakes are a part of life, and it’s okay if you made one while choosing a career.
If you loathe the work you do for a living or think about a career change every day, you’re not alone.
Most career decisions in India are taken either to fulfill parent’s ambitions or following trends or how much money a career makes. Without assessing the actual interest of an individual.
And while taking everything in context except the real interest, people end up in careers that drain them.
Though, sometimes it can be just lost interest or changed preferences over time. Irrespective of the reason, if the primary thing your work adds to your life is stress, it’s time to reconsider.
Work is the primary cause of stress; in fact, 80% of people have admitted being stressed due to work.
Why should you consider a career change?
Though it’s a significant decision to leave all your experience and expertise behind to pursue something entirely different, sometimes your existing knowledge may be helpful, and sometimes it’s a complete 180-degree turn.
For example; a career change from a developer to a project manager can be easy, whereas a transition from an investment banker to a mobile app developer may not be that easy.
Sometimes career changes are more manageable, and sometimes not, but if you get it right they’re worth it.
However, before you consider any career change advice, make sure it’s your career that’s draining you out and not the job. To know better, break down your job into good and bad; what you like and what you detest. It will help you identify causes that make you hate your job; is it dealing with the people? Bad Management? Or the work itself?
With or without planning, it’s not going to be a smooth ride. You won’t just wake up and decide this is what you want to do next and live happily ever after in the job of your dreams. So take enough time to map your career change journey.
Let’s break your career change into simple milestones, by asking some questions:
Where are you?
Where are you in your career presently? What job are you doing? To begin your career change journey, identify where you are, the skills and talents you have.
Where you want to be?
Which career do you want to switch to? It will cut half of your hassle if you know the answer to this question. And If you don’t, take enough time to analyze the possible career options.
What do you enjoy doing the most? And would love to even if you won’t get paid to do it, that should be your career choice and not based on what money it will make you or what status it will earn you in the society.
A job that fills your pockets will earn you a living, but the work that fills your soul will earn you a life.
So identify your calling, even if it pays less than your current job. Though its easier said than done; it’s more than picking up your favorite color from Skittles. Give it enough time and consideration.
To start with your decision making try talking to your friends, family or colleagues because people around us can do a better assessment of our natural talents which we often fail to.
Go for job shadowing [Spending time at a person at their job] to have a better perception of a career you only have a superficial knowledge about.
If you’re considering to be a UI designer, try creating some designs by yourself to assess if you’re going to enjoy the work in your day to day life.
Don’t just research the annual salary or required skills for the new career; know day to day challenges, what’s worst about the career of your dreams because you don’t want to take this leap for nothing.
How far is it?
How different it is from your existing job or role. How much learning or reskilling you’ll need for the career change.
Sometimes it’s a little transition like from a Copy Writer to Blogger, which required minimum or no reskilling at all and is pretty easy to make.
But if it’s a 180-degree turn from a Developer to a Marketer, or you’re a salesperson who wants to build a career as a software developer, such transitions will be difficult, but yet doable.
The task is to assess how far you have to go, how much you have to put in to change your career. Make a map to your journey, as for how to learn to make yourself eligible to take up a job in your new career, what skills you must learn?
At times when you’re not sure about what you exactly want to do and need an escape from the current work, look for the least drastic career change you can make, which can be either in your existing industry, a specialized one or a superficial one which you find yourself happy doing.
What can you take along?
What are your existing skills that will still be useful in your new job, if not hard skills, what are the soft skills that you can emphasis on to show you’ll succeed in the new career?
The soft skills you gain with experience are far more valuable than any degree or education, and they can help you make a career in a new domain.
So if your day to day operations require brainstorming and problem-solving these skills might not get obsolete with your new career.
Breakdown your experiences; as a software developer how you solved problems with code, how you also ran tests, your proficiencies in front and back end, or maybe research, i.e. whatever you’ve done, break it down, and you’ll find a lot of matching skills required by your new job.
What you need to learn along the way?
Since you know the difference between your current and your next job and what skills you have that will help with your new job.
What are the other things that you need to learn along the way to make this transition successful, if you’re going from a business developer to coder, the first thing you’ll need is hands-on experience on coding; what programing language you need to learn to get your intended job or to start with.
All the skill change and upgrading are required to make the career change.
Will it be worth it when you arrive?
Make informed decisions, don’t let your desire to pursue a career overshadow the bad things about it, because you can ignore some issues for a day maybe but not for a lifetime. And that’s mandatory for a successful career transition.
There’s no greater feeling than doing something you love for your living, you won’t make excuses any longer to avoid going to work, another project won’t bore or frustrate you, your work will make you happy, and that feeling is worth all the hassle.
Another essential thing to do while planning a career change is to network, not only referral is the number one source of hiring, but it’s better than a piece of paper that hardly do any justice to your skills and talents.
So while you’re trying to make a career change, go out, meet new people, better if they’re from the career you want to be in, they’ll not only provide you with valuable insights, they’ll prove to be significant links to opening up new opportunities for you.
And at last, what you need to do to make a career change, to be in that career you’ve dreamt of is “Apply.” Mail your resume, apply to that job, look like a fool but don’t hold yourself fearing rejection, you’ll get rejected sometimes maybe a lot but did any good ever come easy? No!
Work for your dream career! No matter how far you’ve come in another industry, your experience will always be valued even after you change your career, because the knowledge you’ve gained cannot be substituted.
Learn, apply for that job, you definitely will get rejected a few times or more but don’t stop trying, until you’re doing what you love.
“Life is too short to be doing anything that doesn’t fulfill your soul.”
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