The following article is a guest post.
Transitioning from one career to another is never easy. Sometimes it’s a carefully-premeditated choice and sometimes it’s a force of nature imposed on you without warning. Whether your career transition is planned or impromptu, it gives you a chance to make an incredibly positive change in your life.
If you want to maximize your odds of landing on your feet, take these five career transition tips to heart:
1. Make Full Use of The Help Available to You.
Make sure you marshall all of your social and professional resources when you’re facing a career transition.
Friends, coworkers, and colleagues within the industry can all provide useful counsel, advice, and connections. You’ll find that most people you approach will be flattered that you thought of them. If you discover one person who is especially helpful and provides exceptionally useful guidance, consider asking them to become your mentor.
The help of a mentor can smooth out many of the bumps in a career transition.
It’s not a one-way street, either. Mentors invest their energy in building up a worthwhile colleague so that they can enjoy a strong professional connection in the future. Bear in mind that you have an obligation to repay mentors for the help they provide once you’re in a position to do so.
If your current job makes any sort of transitional service or assistance available, make full use of it. Also, discuss the reasons you are leaving with them as a new employer in a new industry may wish to talk to them when the time comes. It may make it easier when you look for a new job and are wondering how to explain a career transition on your resume.
Don’t neglect government resources, either! There are specific programs available to help many groups (veterans, immigrants, the elderly, economically disadvantaged individuals, people with disabilities, and others) find their way through a career transition successfully.
If you’re leaving a position with a large corporation, make sure you inquire about any transition services offered to laid-off employees. Many companies provide training, counseling, job placement assistance, and much more.
2, Put Yourself on a Skill-Building Schedule.
Cultivating new skills is an essential part of transitioning into a new career. Embrace the opportunity a transition affords you to engage in structured learning. You’re investing in your future as you expand your capabilities, and you can (and should!) look on this as a rare opportunity.
Set aside dedicated time for skill-building and self-development. This time should be prioritized above “free time” or tending to others.
Make sure your loved ones understand that you are taking an essential step toward securing a better future. Not just for your own professional advancement but also for your family as a whole.
3. If Possible, Hang onto Your Day Job.
Working at a job you hate is a terrible place to find yourself if you have no prospects. If you have a career transition in mind, though, working a loathsome job becomes much more tolerable. A steady income stream helps defuse a lot of the potential stress involved in a career transition.
You may also find that getting on the track to a new career (preparing yourself and learning new skills) produces new-found optimism that makes your current job more bearable. Planning out a career transition allows you to put a light at the end of the tunnel in your unloved job.
4. Stay Flexible.
Even highly successful career transitions can veer wildly off-course. As you cultivate a wider skill set, don’t close yourself off from the possibility of exploring a career avenue you might not have considered before.
If, for instance, you’re taking a marketing class and discover you have a real knack for it, you might shift your end goal toward securing a job in sales. The satisfying career you love may not be the one you have in mind when you start your career transition.
5. Stay Dedicated and Make Time for Yourself.
Most workers find career transitions challenging and stressful. Nobody likes change when it’s coupled with uncertainty, and changing careers almost always takes time. As the process goes on, you may find support from friends and relatives dwindling.
If your own enthusiasm for the process starts to flag, make sure you’re looking for fresh connections with upbeat, optimistic people. Investigate local and online groups dedicated to transition support and entrepreneurship. The support and encouragement you need to succeed are always out there!