You know you’re in need of a career change but don’t know where to begin. First off, congratulate yourself on arriving at the first station – you’re among the few who know, you deserve the change! Now, you’re all set to tackle the “hows” head on.
Decide what you’d love doing – the purpose
In the ever-so-busy lives that we lead today, we’ve forgotten to simply stop by and reflect. If you’re like 80% of today’s workforce, you’ve come so far in your professional life, just following the crowd.
Too many of us have put ourselves on auto-pilot, chasing that crowd-coveted path. Now, it’s time for some structured day-dream to your dream career change.
It pays to ask yourself the much clichéd question: What did you love doing as a kid? Seriously! – this gets you back to your first principles.
Think about what activities made you lose yourself. What are the activities you enjoyed doing so much that you forgot to eat and sleep? Your career path is a journey that must excite you. That should let you put to use – your innate and acquired talents.
If you want some inspiration to find your why, head over to this inspirational post on finding your purpose, or some deeply researched, insightful TED talks on purpose and creativity. Now that you’re armed with the sense of self – guided by your true north, move on to fill your armour with the tools.
Sign up for a course or two – the skills
Sign up for a course – free or paid; online or offline – depending on your affordability and availability of content in your field of choice. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are here to stay and make you richer.
Have a study buddy. It makes you commit your time and motivation to your dream career change. You may, of course go it alone, but remember shared vision is double joy and you’d have someone to share your perspectives. Head over to this post on self-taught skills for a lucrative career, if you’re scouting around for a good one.
Read, listen, follow – the career hack
Get geared to invest your time in yourself. Read all the stuff you stumble upon in that coveted field. Follow the tips, tricks, trends and perspectives in the domain.
Listen to talks by experts. Listen to podcasts – during your commute to work, that wait in the long queue, over a lazy weekend or simply an hour before you get to sleep.
Follow online channels and people who’ve been there and done that awesome career change. Participate in online groups and communities of insiders and experts. Identify yourself as one among them. Equip yourself to have your own say on the subject.
Polish your skills – the side hustle
Learning by doing is the new paradigm to acquiring new skills. What use is years of classroom theory, if you haven’t learnt to apply it to real life? Pick up a project – a side project, a DIY hack, anything that works for you.
What would you do, if you were not afraid?. Listen to your soft inner voice. Do what you love; love what you do. Invest a few hours every week – stay committed to yourself and your mission to your dream career change. Here’s some side project inspiration for you.
The results of your labor will give you a high, that’s very well worth it!
Pulling it off – the career change
Celebrate the small successes of your part-time project which will pave the way to your dream career change. Make it a part of your portfolio, resume, profile – however you choose to maintain your professional accomplishments. Apply for part-time internships. Work with the people you choose to.
Hustle along, until you’re all set to conquer on your own. Practice solving problems that make a difference to your community. Take on that new initiative with your current employer; change job; or choose to keep it a side project that you look forward to, every evening/weekend; choose to jump at it as a full-time entrepreneur – you are limited only by your imagination.
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Experiment, get better, and be awesome at, what you love doing. By law of karma, the riches will follow too!