Deciding to change careers is very important. There are many different opportunities for many people. There’s no reason to stay in a career that isn’t right for you. Maybe you don’t like your job. You could be looking for a fresh start in a completely different field. In other cases, you may want to move forward.
As you think about your future, think about how you can get there. Big jumps in racing often take time to plan. There are many variables to consider when and how to make your move. This is especially true for seniors who may have obligations to fulfill. In all cases, your first goal is to create a plan.
To take your goal from a dream to a reality, work to focus on a few simple tools that can help you get there. Of course, every situation is a little different, but most career changes can happen with a little planning and organization. Here’s what to consider.
Document your goals
The first step is to document what your goals are. This is a big one. You don’t need to be specific yet. Write what you want to do. Make it your dream job or career. Then write down other things you would like to do.
Within your objectives, document the goals as clearly as possible. For example, who do you want to work with and why? What kind of work do you hope to do? What are your “whys” for this process? Then, when you put those thoughts and ideas down on paper, you make them come true. In other words, you define what you want. Now, you can start planning how to get to that point.
Discuss what your strengths and weaknesses are
No matter how big your dream is, you must be qualified for it. To find out where you stand, write down all the strengths you have. Then be sure to list things that can help you do well in this new field. Be specific here so you can see what your opportunities really are.
Then describe your weaknesses. As you work to plan your goals, you need to know what you need to work on. These can be professional skills or technical skills. It could also be a list of goals you have for developing soft skills. That might be taking a leadership course or two.
Then make a plan to achieve improvement in all areas that affect your desired career. For example, you may need certification from a university program. Set a date to achieve these goals. It may take a few months or more. Putting a date on that goal makes it more real and gives you something to work towards.
Now that you have an idea of where you want to go, create some goals to achieve. This includes working on those weaknesses. The most critical first step is to consider a timeline.
How long will it take you to get the training you need to work in the field you want? Use a calendar app to give yourself this amount of time. Set a date to achieve this goal based on how long it takes.
Then consider the process of reading to yourself, such as listening to audiobooks and reading hard copies, too. Amazon has an amazing selection of business books and audiobooks. You may need time to network and build relationships. You may need some time to work in the field in an accelerated position before taking on a major role. Again, use a calendar app to put this in place. Give yourself enough time to learn.
Regardless of what you need to do for the position, put a time goal on it. This makes it a little easier for you to continue pursuing your education, skills training, and other goals. You know what you have to do. You have a calendar to do it. Let this motivate you to make it possible.
Consider your financial needs
Money is often one of the most common obstacles that prevent people from taking the giant leap. Maybe you’re taking a pay cut. You may have to take some time off work to go back to school. These things are scary for those with financial responsibilities.
If you need to save money, determine how much you need to support yourself. Your need will be based on your current budget and financial need. It may seem like a lot of money. Instead of seeing it as one big chunk, break it down into a weekly or monthly number. How much do you need to invest in savings to be able to do this every week?
Here’s a trick. Set up an automatic draft in your savings account with your paycheck each week for a portion of the amount you’ll need. You can use your calendar app to help you out a bit here. It can remind you to move money where it’s needed, for example.
Make some plans to get things done
What will help you make a move? As you work on training and skill development, don’t forget the little things that really add up. Start making appointments with yourself for specific tasks, as well as connecting with others who can help you build and expand your career options.
For many people, a new resume is necessary. Take some time to update your resume. Make sure it is very focused on the specific type of job you want to have. Adjust all your skills and abilities to match the type of work you plan to do. Here’s a tip to get it right. Use job websites to check the writing and requirements that many employers have in the field you want to pursue. Make sure your resume has these words and skills. Be sure to be honest, but thorough.
Then take some time to update your LinkedIn profile. Many employers use social media as a way to gain insight into the person they are hiring. Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume. It should help you shine in this process. You can also write content and some informative pieces about the industry you are interested in or the work you have done. This way, future hiring managers can see your passion in the field.
Work on brushing up on your soft skills as well. You may want to volunteer with groups that are important to you. Become a member of the professional association associated with your future professional career. What other qualifications do applicants in your field have? Work to earn them.
Many employers today spend a lot of time networking with potential employees. They also resort to similar platforms. For higher leadership positions, it helps to have some connections. Work to meet people. Add a few more events to your calendar app, such as professional events or networking events. Set aside some time to meet someone in the countryside for lunch. Talk to people who are already working in the field. How did they get their jobs?
Consider your long-term goals
A career change is great, and it’s what you’re planning now. However, now that you have some goals to work with, it’s time to think about your long-term goals. What is the most meaningful and bold goal you have?
Use this as a way to choose where to work. You want to be sure that your next career move will support all of your future goals. The right company, people and opportunities make a big difference.
It takes a lot to plan for your future. But stay organized through it all. Use a calendar app to help you stay on top of your goals and the work you plan to do. Doing so can help make your vision a reality.
Image Credit: Photo by Anna Shvets; Pexels; Thanks!
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