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12 Steps to Change Your Career Path

People who are not satisfied with their job often regret their initial choice of education. Of course, at the age of 16-18, it is quite difficult to make informed decisions that will affect your whole life. But if you, at your mature age, decided to completely change your career and start from scratch, you find yourself in the place of a student – the world is your oyster. At the same time, you have much more financial means, life experience, and connections. This time, the chance to make the right decision is higher. But the responsibility is different.

1. When choosing a new path, consider not just what you like but also what you are good at. It is unlikely that you will be able to become a musician if you have absolutely no ear training.

2. If you still really want to connect your life with a completely new field, think about the branches that are closer to you and are in demand in this business. If you are not a pianist, but you are good at organizing events, you can start with event management in the music industry.

3. If related specialties do not suit you and you want drastic changes, do not rush. Make the most optimal plan: it should consider both the financial component and the individual plan of your development (for example, obtaining additional education in a new job, acquiring practical skills, etc.).

4. Calculate how much it costs to prepare for a change of activity: this includes the cost of various courses, second higher education, professional literature, etc. You will not spend your money on a vacation, nor will you rest during the vacation.  Evaluate your capabilities: how much time will it take for you to study and then search for a new job, can you combine this with your current employment? And if you can’t, do you have savings or other sources of income for the entire period of your career change?

5. Do not be afraid to stay in the same place. Even if you feel like you’re professionally burned out, having a new goal will motivate you for a while. A former colleague of mine successfully ran the marketing department of a large IT company for several years, while learning to play oboe at a music college. Having received the necessary education and connections, she left marketing and joined the orchestra. Having a goal helped her to be a good marketer.

6. Learning a new job in advance, you will be able to assess if it suits you. Perhaps your current job and team will again seem much more suitable to you before you have time to say goodbye to them. View your studies as a rehearsal for your future work.

7. Do not forget that when you radically change the type of activity, you lose some income. You come to the starting position with no experience in this field. From the point of view of soft skills for an employer, you are a somewhat more valuable employee than yesterday’s graduate, but from the point of view of hard skills and learning ability, you will have to compete with this particular category of workers. And you will first be paid accordingly.

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8. Finally, you planned everything and prepared to start from a lower position in an international large company to grow into a professional. Now get ready for the fact that many of these companies will reject you. Unfortunately, industry giants are choosing to hire people whose psychological profiles they can change, and they fear that older employees will be harder to influence.

changing career path

9. Certain difficulties in communication may arise if the team and its leaders are much younger than you. Take this into account, assess whether you are ready to obey a person who is 10-20 years younger than you, and do not perceive refusals for hiring for this reason as a failure. Remember, officially, age cannot be the reason for such a refusal at all.

10. Gain strength and patience, get ready to devote all your time to a new field. After all, in a new place, you will have to work for two. If you really want a new career so badly and you were able to convince the new employer that they should trust you, then get ready for their expectations.

11. Negative experience is also an experience. If you spend several months or even years on a new field and realize that you made a mistake, at least you will not regret for the rest of your life that you did not try. And it will be much easier to return to the previous job.

12. If all of the above did not scare you, you have made a clear plan, calculated all the losses and costs, and you still want to change – go for it. In my experience, all such stories had happy endings. If a person really strives for their goal and calculates everything in advance, then those around them will meet them halfway, the management will trust more complex tasks and give more opportunities for rapid growth.

Alex Kara
By Alex Kara on Aug 29, 2021
IT Careers