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    Categories: Career Development

New Year, New Career: How to Prepare Yourself for a Successful Career Change in 2018

Change is often fraught with mixed emotions, ranging from exciting and welcoming to nervous and scary. But for something such as changing jobs, it’s also a necessary action to achieving personal, professional, and financial satisfaction. Review these steps on how to develop a successful career plan for 2018.

Determine What You Truly Want

Much in the same way that people hope that a new move will be the last one, so it goes with a new job. Whether the position mimics one you’ve been in or is a stepping stone to different opportunities, aim for a job that completes you as much as possible. Think about things you like to do in your free time, and if one of those interests is worth pursuing professionally. Or, are you ready to finally step out of comfort zones and make a living doing what you once aspired to, but lost sight of?

Consider your passions and dislikes when making a career change, and how the following factors may also influence your new path:

  • Office location/relocation
  • Commute time
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Possibility of remote hours
  • Travel requirements
  • Bonuses
  • Investment and health benefits
  • Vacation and sick time
  • Onsite childcare
  • Casual or formal office environment
  • Reimbursement for schooling or training workshops

Explore All Networking Resources

As you start to formulate career goals, take advantage of social media and online resources to share that intent. Let friends and family know that you’re looking for a different job, and that you’re receptive to suggestions and leads. Join message boards and forums that relate to your job interest, and look for networking events and meet-up groups in the neighborhood. Now’s the time to make yourself a familiar face and name; comment more on industry posts, contribute to blogs, perhaps even start your own blog and establish affiliates with others in the field. Opportunities can come from anyone and anywhere, so make sure to mention what you’re looking for when meeting new people.

What Educational and Skills Training do You Need?

Don’t forget to examine what the preferred education level is for your new career, as well what skills are recommended or desired. Some professions may accept life and previous work experiences in lieu of degrees, whereas other companies are steadfast about academic requirements. Factor in the financial and time commitments necessary for learning new skills, and how you can make it happen within your budget and schedule.

Even if a degree isn’t mandatory, it may still be beneficial to learn what you can to further enhance your skill set. If cost is a deterrent, check into financial aid, sponsorship, and free online courses and podcasts. Volunteer work is a great way to acquire expertise and to also show employers your philanthropic side. It’s also another valuable resource for networking, as charitable groups tend to know one another, and some organizations hire paid staff through their volunteer pool.

Create an Attention-Grabbing Resume

One common concern with changing careers is how to address gaps or possible inadequacies in a resume. Let your creativity shine, especially since many online job applications are quickly scanned and ultimately eliminated based upon certain keyword criteria. Here’s where research again plays a critical role, because you may have to adapt your resume to fit companies within the same profession.

Take healthcare for example. You’ll likely narrow job results by where pharmacists earn the most, or learn everything you can about what the projected nursing growth is for the next few years. During these findings, keep notes about any transferable skills you can highlight and what you bring to the coveted role. Look at sample resumes to see if you should take a traditional date-laden approach or keep it more free-flowing. Create stand-out sub-headings that demonstrate initiative, productivity, and a willingness to learn.

If applicable, include online links to portfolios, achievements, accolades, and group participation. Depending on the job and the company, you may also want to make a video resume and list that link as an additional reference to why you are the best candidate.

Set a Financial Foundation

Set a Financial Foundation

A financial backup plan is critical to professional development outlines. You may not secure a job as soon as you thought or something detrimental (health matter, house or car repair, e.g) may happen during the process. Or you find your dream job and take it, but while comparing salaries for the industry, discover that it’s lower than anticipated. Consult financial tips for career changers to learn more about easy ways to curb spending and adapt to a decrease or a lull in income. Make sure to maintain open and honest communication with your partner or anyone else who shares financial responsibilities or depends upon your contributions. Your journey towards a different career may go through some bumps, which can be met if everyone works together.

Gracefully Exit Current Job

Refer back to your self-evaluation to craft a complete idea of things in the workforce that you can tolerate and things that are too stressful. It’s going to be a springboard for comparing job offers and determining which ones have the most potential to keep you satisfied. Having a comprehensive understanding of what went well, and what you can improve at future jobs also benefits exit interviews. Be respectful and polite when leaving your current job, and don’t be disparaging about any negative aspects that may have pushed you to leave. Use constructive criticism and point out that you are at a time in your life where you need more challenges, more growth, and essentially a change in your routine.

Likewise, utilize the same courteous manner when talking about previous employers to new ones. Discuss how naturally, happiness leads to increased productivity, and your tasks were simply no longer fulfilling. Emphasize your energy and drive to bring your talents into the mix, and how refreshing it will be to explore a job that’s full of potential.

If you have already left your old job and it was not on the best of terms, salvage what you can in future interviews. Although your previous employer may no longer be a viable reference, focus more on the things that you were proud of rather than the disappointments.

Apply Paysa Tools to Your Career Plan

Make this the year of you, where you settle into a career that brings you the rewards and the gratification that you deserve. Use our evaluate a job offer tool to check if an offer is fair, at or above the market rate, where you’ve got room to negotiate, and whether it meets your worth. You are in control of a successful career change and we have the data, tools, and information to help get you there.

Set up a free Paysa account to see how instrumental we can be during your job searches. If you’re contemplating relocation, utilize our cost of living tool to leverage negotiations. Know what you need, what you want, and how your experience and knowledge translate into an equitable income and set of responsibilities. Share your goals with others, weave your skills into a telltale resume, and use our terrific tool to browse salaries that embrace this exciting career journey that awaits you in the new year.

 

Related:

Career Review 2017: What Went Well and What You Can Improve

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Author: Paysa