Have you ever found yourself staring wistfully at your computer screen and wishing you could be doing literally anything else for work? You’re far from alone in this. Many, many people often fantasize about switching careers, but only 9% of employees actually take the plunge.
The reasons should be obvious; jobs often represent security and stability, and switching careers represents a dive into the unknown. If you’ve finally had enough of your job and know you can’t take it anymore, we’re here to help. Here’s how you can leave your job and kickstart a brand new career doing what you love.
Have a secure financial bed
It’s not a good idea to leap straight into a new career without being prepared financially. Before you leave a job, it’s a good idea either to have another one lined up and ready or to have a stable financial bed from which to operate while you get set up in your new career. It may even be a good idea to look into an unsecured personal loan that could help establish you in your new career by paying for assets like vehicles, clothing, and other peripherals you might need.
If your chosen career is one in which you can volunteer, then it’s a very good idea to do so before you attempt to find paid work. By volunteering, you can get a feel for what works in that field is really like, build connections with potential employers, and show yourself to be a reliable employee. It’s much, much easier to get positions if you’ve volunteered in the field; it looks great on your CV and will show prospective employers that you’re enthusiastic about the work.
Reach out to people who already work in your chosen field. You’d be surprised how many of them will be communicative and willing to talk about your new career with you, especially if they’re already passionate about what they do. By doing so, you’re not only building valuable connections; you’re also learning about the job. People who work within the industry are more likely to be honest about its pros and cons, too, so you’ll learn what life is really like within that career.
Look to your passions
Not everybody gets to do what they love as a career. However, if you think it’s possible to pursue your passions and transform them into paid work, then you should take every opportunity you possibly can to do that. After all, it’s not really worth changing careers if you hate your new job just as much as your old one, or if you’re ambivalent about it. Changing careers should be all about ambition and the desire to realize your dreams, so don’t settle for less!
Seek out others changing careers
No matter what your situation is, when you’re looking to change careers, there will always be someone else in the same boat as you. It’s worth seeking out those people to exchange tips and build a support network.
With more people around you looking to achieve the same goal as you, you’ll know if any situation you end up in is common or if you should be looking to change your circumstances. It’s always good to have support around you, so don’t try to embark on your journey alone.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Just because you want to move into a new career, that doesn’t mean that career necessarily plays to your strengths. It’s important to draw up a chart of what you’re good at when it comes to working and what your weaknesses are.
Then, try to compare them with the strengths and weaknesses that work well with the job. If you don’t find your skills match up, then it might be better to think about a different career, even if it’s been your lifelong dream.
Don’t burn bridges
Quitting a job should be a graceful, easy process. It shouldn’t be full of acrimony and difficulty. If you burn too many bridges, you may find it difficult to make connections in the future, or if things fall through it may become hard for you to return to your old career should you need to.
More to the point, it pays to maintain positive relations with old coworkers and employers, simply because they may be able to provide references and recommendations for you in future jobs.
Make sure your CV is up to scratch
It’s very important for your CV to pass the 30-second test. This is a method by which you can tell whether an employer is going to read your CV; if it’s eye-catching and compelling within the first 30 seconds of reading or skimming it, you’ve got a good chance.
If not, your CV will likely languish unread rather than being noticed. Try to put your biggest and most important career achievements front and centre and don’t waste time with inconsequential details. Most importantly, tailor your CV to the job you’re looking for.
Don’t expect to love every day
Even in a career, you love – one that you’ve given up your main job for – you shouldn’t expect to love every single minute of every day. Even in a career about which you are inordinately passionate, you’re going to experience down days or off days; that’s just the nature of working in general.
In addition, you may end up with coworkers or managers that you simply don’t like, so no matter how fun the job is, the people can drag it down. As long as you’re appreciative of your job in a net positive sense, it’s worth it.