Five Steps to Help You Change Careers Smoothly
Posted by mba.com on Jan 23, 2020
Changing careers might seem overwhelming, but with some careful planning, you can ensure a smooth transition.
Changing careers is more common than you might think. In fact, the average worker will switch careers seven times throughout their life. Whether you’ve outgrown your current role, want to pursue a latent passion, or simply feel that your interests have changed, there are plenty of reasons to try something new.
Transforming your career isn’t an easy task, but following these five simple steps will help you transition more smoothly from one role to the next.
1. Take time to explore
Before you start down a new career path, take a step back and carefully evaluate all of your options. Consider the reasons why you want to make a career change and deliberately weigh the pros and cons of switching careers to ensure you avoid making any rushed decisions.
It’s also a good idea to take aptitude tests or seek the advice of a career counselor. These steps will confirm you’re well suited to the new role or industry you’re pursuing and will provide alternate, unbiased perspectives on your situation.
2. Make the right connections
Once you’re confident about the change you want to make, it’s time to kick into research mode. Using online resources to learn more about your prospective career is a great place to start, but nothing beats speaking to someone who currently works in your desired role or field to get a taste of what daily life in that job is really like.
Leverage your network to get in touch with relevant people. If this isn’t possible you can use LinkedIn or a similar network to reach out. One recent survey found that more than half of job seekers use networking as their primary job hunting technique.
Once you have built a good rapport, think carefully about the questions you want to ask. Does the industry usually welcome career changers? What does the recruitment process look like? What are the main challenges right now? Gather a list of five to ten questions you want to ask and narrow it down to the best two or three.
3. Re-brand your experience
When starting a new career, it’s important to remember that many skills are transferable. Although it might feel like it, you’re not starting from scratch! Think creatively about how the skills and experience your current career has given you could make you a good match for your desired role. Soft skills such as time management, effective communication, and team leadership can’t be understated.
4. Consider education
Even with transferable skills, you’ll need some industry knowledge to succeed in a new career. Thanks to online courses, you can learn plenty on your own, but certain roles will require a more formal education.
Many professionals choose to attend business school when making a career change. In fact, enrolling in business school is one of the most effective ways to switch jobs or industries. This can impart industry-specific knowledge, and also gives you access to career services, industry ties, and a network of peers.
With hundreds of business schools across the world, offering thousands of different programs, you should have no trouble finding the right option for you based on your interests.
MBA’s are the best-known business school program today. They teach students how different business functions operate, with practically minded curricula. Plenty of MBA programs also give participants the option to specialize in an area based on their career goals.
5. Stay positive
It’s easy to put off your career change, whether you’re unsure where to start, or afraid to leave the familiar behind. Whatever your reason for switching, having the right attitude is important. Be sure to express your willingness to learn. Approaching the switch with an open mind will demonstrate that you’re up to the challenge, and willing to put in the effort required to succeed.
Looking for more advice on how an MBA can help you change careers seamlessly? Go to mba.com to find out more.
This article originally appeared on mba.com and is reprinted here with permission.