Changing careers can be a scary thing. A variety of unknowns can creep into career transition process. How will you know if you like it? What if you have to go back to school? What is future outlook for field that interests you? Like with any other endeavor, best way to handle inevitable fear that will appear is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. The 5 steps outlined below are designed to help you prepare for your new career change and make an informed decision.
1. Volunteer. This is a great way to "try it before you buy it." Are you interested in opening a daycare? Volunteer in childrenís area of your church. Are you interested in desktop publishing? Volunteer to create newsletter for your professional organization. There are many not-for-profit and community services organizations that would love your assistance. As a bonus, oftentimes there is an experienced staff member that you can learn from and ask questions.
2. Research field. The Internet and library are great resources for getting more information about your potential new field, but you can easily take it a step further. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone in field and then interview that individual. Learn what things attracted that person to field, what a typical day is like, and what things they dislike about field. Find 3 - 4 people to talk with in order to get a variety of opinions. If you are having trouble locating a person to talk to, remember almost every field has a professional organization associated with it. Use Internet to locate a chapter for that organization in your city.
3. Maintain a support network. During your time of transition, it is crucial that you are getting all love and support you can find. Ideally this should be coming from your friends and family. But if you find those closest to you arenít as supportive as you need then it may be time to hire a coach, find a mentor, or join a professional organization.