Are you at a point in your life where you’re thinking of quitting your job and starting afresh?
From lives to livelihoods — the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything.
While some might be happy where they are, others would be considering a career shift.
This is a very intimidating change as most people don’t know where to start from or how to go about it. This confusion may lead to incorrect choices and hasty decisions that may well bring you back to square one.
To start in the right direction for changing your career and navigating career crossroads, here are six steps that will give you a headstart in figuring out the transition.
Identify areas of interest
The first step is to know what you wish to do.
Narrow down your options, figure out your niche skillset, and ask yourself questions like:
- What skills do I have that make me more competent than others?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- How can I make an impact, or influence others through my work?
Work on the sphere you are interested in. Once you know what you want to do, you are ready to take that big career move.
Know what your deal-breakers are
If you have a great job opportunity and there are a few hurdles that don’t allow you to take that specific job, these hurdles are your deal-breakers.
For example, you may wish to study fashion in Paris, but you realize that there are constraints in relocating to a different country. Here, location becomes a deal-breaker.
As life goes on, one encounters many more deal-breakers like money, distance, family, personal relationships, and so on. So, figure out your deal breakers in the beginning. Whether it’s the salary of a particular job or the location of the company, sort out viable options and narrow them down to the ones that you can work towards.
Doing trumps thinking, every single time.
Don’t waste your time thinking about the pros and cons. Instead, start exploring options. For instance, you create that blog you wanted to start, launch a YouTube channel for your original compositions or even start an online side-hustle.
If you get an idea, any idea, always write it down as that will urge you to go forth and tick off all the things that you have completed. A change of career is never a smooth process, and overthinking will not help.
So, the quickest and the correct way to get positive results and find the right direction is to do something about it.
Prepare yourself for rejection
There will come a time during your transition, where you might face rejection from people and employers.
Don’t let yourself down as this is bound to happen. Nobody becomes successful without falling and failing first. Keep your spirits high and continue working in your chosen field. There might be twenty rejections from prospective employers but one day, you’ll receive that exceptional job opportunity you have been waiting for.
Networking is pivotal during a career change process. Landing a job position will become ten times easier if you have an appropriate professional network and the right employee referral.
Take time to build those meaningful, long-term connections so that when you require support, you can tap into these valuable connections. Your network can assist you in finding new connections and sponsors in the specific job industry you are trying to get into.
Pursue relevant courses and internships
Pursuing relevant courses or internships to build up your skillset and gain professional development is also very fruitful while navigating career crossroads.
For example, when you need to lose weight, you exercise and eat fewer portions to reach your desired goal. Similarly, to be the best at your career, you need to be well-aware of the latest trends and be up-to-date on all new methods.
To grow your career, taking up professional courses will hone your skills and deepen your knowledge.
Build your portfolio
Digital portfolios are an excellent way to showcase the capabilities that you’ve highlighted on your resume. Just telling potential employers about what you have worked on won’t help in evoking interest. instead, use your portfolio to give proof of what you have learned and accomplished.
If you have potential clients and bosses who are looking for samples of your work, you can just send them your portfolio. So, always keep it up-to-date and relevant to the industry you are looking to make your change in.
Preparing for a career change and navigating crossroads to find yourself an ideal job is not a one-day process.
It is an experience that can be stressful but is also very exciting. You find yourself, you discover what makes you happy, and where you would like to see yourself in the coming years on the career front.
So don’t give up — keep moving forward and use these suggestions to smoothly navigate career crossroads and make that transition.
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Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.