Career transitions have become increasingly common over the last forty years. New developments in technology and increased geographic mobility have made multiple job changes the rule rather than the exception. While many career transitions have positive outcomes, it has become increasingly evident that career transitions often leads to poor results. New careers most of the time offer less pay, and carry fewer benefits and even less job security. While it is necessary to change careers in aiming of a better life, careful thought and planning should be always a part of any career change.
Before moving on, consider the reasons behind your desire to change careers. Is it your job, your boss, your industry, the lack of financial reward, or something more personal? To find out, mercilessly go through your entire professional work experience to ferret out the root cause of your desire for career transition. List every company that you have touched as an employee, client, customer or business partner. List your technical certifications, the processes your know, and skills you have acquired. When you have completed the list, go through and rate each experience on a scale from 1 to 10.
Now, dig deeper to uncover what it was about each experience that made it positive or negative. While you may be able to find a profession that you are truly passionate about, you will still have to deal with angry customers, overbearing bosses, low pay and stress. Consider whether the grass is truly greener on the other side.
Once you have made the decision for career transition, make sure you are prepared for what is to come. You may find the sacrifices that you and your family will have to make outweigh the benefits. To the best of your ability, make an assessment of how long your change will take, how much it will cost, and how likely your are to succeed. In addition, put together a back-up plan in case your dream fails to materialize. Finally, and most importantly, put together a time-line with milestones marking out each part of your plan. Make sure that your goals are attainable and recognize that you may have to change course along the way.
Before you leave your old career behind, make sure to take advantage of all the work you put into it. Leave your company on good terms. Stay in contact with former co-workers and business associates While you get up and running with your new life, make a point to reach out to your former colleagues at least every two or three months. Career placement test is an excellent tool to help you. You should also consider joining an Expert Network which will allow you to share your expertise with investors and industry professional while making both contacts and consulting fees.
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