First off, the decision to do a complete 180 on your current career path shouldn’t be a case of waking up one morning, bored and frustrated and sacking it all off. Your job is a huge part of your life and should be treated with care and respect when it comes to making major change and there are a few questions to ask yourself before you do so. This article will give you a helping hand to decide whether making the leap is the right thing for you.
Like I said, this isn’t a decision to take lightly so it’s really important you get to the root of what’s making you unhappy in your current position. Maybe you’re bored or unfulfilled or even not getting enough meaty work your way. If this is the case, you might want to think about sitting down with your line manager and opening a discussion about changes that could be made there. You could talk about taking on more responsibility at your current workplace, in turn leading to the possibility of reward, recognition and even an increase in salary – it’s a win-win really.
If, however, you’re not enamoured with the company core values or you find yourself dreaming about actually using those qualifications you worked so hard for then maybe making a drastic change will be in your best interests in the long term.
This is where you get to the fun bit! Start making a plan of the goals you would like to achieve over the next couple of years and think around what steps you will need to take to get you there. Now, whilst it might be tempting to get caught up in those big goals like ‘earn a six figure salary’ or ‘bag a market leading client’ it’s better to think small in these initial stages. Think about signing up for a course to develop your skills or volunteering in the relevant sector – not only will this give you a good idea of how you’ll enjoy working in a new sector, it also gives you the opportunity to start networking! These little steps will give you some clarity and will give you milestones to check off on your way to the end goal.
Another are you will need to plan is your finances. Obviously, it’s really important you have the means to live well during the transition. You may have to cut back on the luxuries a little but as long as you plan and budget well you should be able to manage it.
You will have your moments of doubt during the transition phase, it’s perfectly natural. Everyone is scared of making a mistake but sometimes you really do have to bite the bullet and be brave. It’s a case of weighing up if the risks are worth the end result and it will be worth it if you’re ambitious and clever about the risks you take. Don’t burn bridges – leaving your current place on good terms not only leaves everyone with nothing but good thoughts and wishes but it also leaves you with more open opportunities further down the line in terms of networking which brings me swiftly on to my next point…
As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and this isn’t too far removed from the truth. It’s important to build good relationships with business contacts and in this digital age, it’s so easy to do! Obviously you’ll still need to use the traditional modes of contact in the initial stages but in terms of maintaining contact, online social/professional platforms such as LinkedIn are invaluable. Not only do they connect to you your peers – like minded individuals you can bounce ideas off but they also connect you to inspiring businesses and individuals and provide a wealth of tips and resources to help you in your career. Remember, don’t just connect with the Senior individuals in the organisation or sector you’re looking at – throw that net wide open. You never know who will be an influencer in a recruitment decision.
Whilst you may be looking into volunteering or completing a course in your chosen area, it’s worth remembering all the experience and skills you have already built. Chances are, they are going to be useful things like administration skills, proficiency in computer software and communication skills – these things go a long way, especially if it’s down to a handful of candidates after interviews etc. you might just edge in front of the competition because they won’t have to train you on the basics or simply because you’d fit in well with the existing team! You’ve got this. Go YOU!
Here are a few excellent articles if you need more: