How To Transition Your Career The Right Way
Transitioning to a new career can be challenging if you don’t know what steps to take before you make an irreversible decision. As technologies advance and companies adjust their strategy, more than ever it is important for you to grow your skills, build on what you have, and take calculated risks to propel your career forward.
To remain relevant in the coming years, you must be strategic about the direction you are heading and the skills you are acquiring. Contrary to what some might believe, completing a degree or certification is not the end, but actually the beginning of next steps. The goal is to stay ahead of the curve to give yourself choices, and when it comes to moving into a new career, being proactive and thoughtful about how you proceed can make for a seamless transition.
If you have decided that a career transition is definitely what you need, then don’t make these 4 mistakes:
1) Not evaluating your current role to identify your transferable skills. Talk with a mentor or career coach to outline your current skills that will transfer into the new role, possibly giving you competitive advantage. People often mistake the tasks they perform as their skills and miss the opportunity to showcase all that they can bring to their new career.
2) Not taking the necessary time to research and plan for the change. In addition to the role and salary, you should list other considerations before making provisions to changeover. The barrier to entry can be a huge factor for not making a successful transition. From qualifications, licenses, continuing education, and other requirements to sustain should be understood before you decide to invest your time and energy.
3) Not understanding if your new career will actually give you the lifestyle you desire. This point is integral to a successful transition and requires answering the hard questions to uncover any conflicts. Depending on the job requirements, the level of effort to maintain satisfactory performance may not be feasible as you grow older. You may not mind the late phone calls or the overtime hours when you are just entering your career, but as you start to build your personal life with a spouse, kids, etc., having flexibility or an adequate salary for a quality life becomes the real problem later that most don’t plan for.
4) Not reviewing the impact the decision could have on other aspects of your life. Don’t assume those close to you can support you in your mission. Be clear and forthcoming about how any modification can alter what everyone is used to. Schedule changes, travel requirements, salary adjustments, benefit options (or the lack of), etc. can impact your personal life if you have not planned to accommodate these differences. Your line of questioning should uncover any potential surprises as you explore your new career.
The most important lesson you can learn now before you embark on a career change is learning what you don’t know. You can avoid this pitfall by talking often with those in the industry and in the role. This is where your connections can be very useful during this process.
Have you made a career change? If so, what did you learn going through your process? Please share, I would love to hear your thoughts.