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How to Take the First Step towards a New Career

How to Take the First Step towards a New Career

When we think back to our first encounter with our current career path, it was most likely to be over a decade ago – and the person that we were is almost unrecognizable from where we are today. Once eager, energetic, optimistic, the excitement of our employment may have fizzled out, and it is easy to feel trapped. We spend most of our lives working, so if it has become uninspiring and repetitive, it is never too late to change careers. The current job climate offers a vast array of employment opportunities with dozens of flexible options – so whether you have recently retired and would like to explore a new venture with your newly acquired freedom, or if you have only been working for a company briefly but can see no career progression,  

Consider your Motivations

What is your real reason for wanting to steer towards a new career path? Perhaps there are lots of overlapping causes for your job dissatisfaction, and this can cause confusion when deciding on your next steps. Write a list of the reasons you want to change career, but on the other side of the paper you should construct a list of reasons why you would like to stay in your current job. Perhaps you will realize that a new career path is not the best choice for you at this moment and that you should wait for a few more months. 

It is tempting to look at other people and believe that their life is perfect because they are extremely fulfilled and happy while at work. But you’ll also know that appearances can be deceiving and not many jobs will always be fun and exciting. If there are financial motivations, it is beneficial to investigate potential salaries and discover which career paths are the highest-earning before setting out on your new career.

Planning is Key

When you reach a point that you are sure you need to embark on a new career, it may seem tempting to hand in your notice. This is not advisable because it may leave you with several months of unemployment, further confusion, and no letter of recommendation. Once you leave your job, there are limitless opportunities and while this is an amazing reality that is characteristic of twenty-first-century life, too much choice can be extremely overwhelming and debilitating. Although there are many smart ways to make decisions, any life choices made under the extreme pressure of unemployment will not be as successful as carefully considered and calculated decisions. 

Therefore, while you are still in your current job, it is advisable to organize your career move. One factor to remember is the associated costs of retraining, studying, or an apprenticeship. When you shift career paths, you will be starting at the bottom once again, which can mean a significant pay change. However, if you budget for this and save for the necessary training, it does not mean that your career change is impossible.

Start applications today

You can start applying for college courses and skills training while you are still employed in your current job. Nearly all educational establishments require online applications, and often the process can take a long time, with courses often starting in the Fall. Applications, however, can be made throughout the year, and if you have any questions, you can often email tutors and those working in your chosen field directly. The more research you do while you are employed, the better. It is also worth bearing in mind that 80% of jobs are not posted online in the US; networking is the most common way that individuals attain jobs. Don’t panic if you feel that you don’t know anyone working in your chosen sector – simply find a company that you are interested in working for and send a preliminary email telling them why you’re interested in their company and ask if there are any upcoming roles. Don’t send out a CV straight away, as this may seem presumptuous to potential employers.

Study Online

Studying a degree or professional course online is not only cost-effective, but it is also flexible as part-time degrees enable you to study for a new career while you are working a full-time job. This opens the doors to changing careers without losing any money. The benefits of studying online are multi-faceted, and there is an extremely broad range of courses, including online nursing schools that will give you all the skills to start a career in nursing. Studying an online degree or course requires a very high level of motivation, organization, and concentration, it is worth noting that this type of flexible learning does still require dedication and hard work. Your hard work will definitely pay off in the end as you study your way to an exciting new career.

Embrace the Unknown

Deciding to leave a career you have worked towards for your entire adult life can be daunting, to say the least. However, it is an extremely courageous choice to make, and you are giving yourself the opportunity to work in an industry that you are excited about. Although some people may stay in their role at work for decades, that does not mean that everyone is suited to the same work habits. What is important about changing your career is that you are believing in yourself to surpass the mundane, to build something more sustainable that you’ll be able to enjoy throughout your life. Be prepared to cast yourself into the unknown somewhat to start your new career.

Talk to an Advisor

One of the most fundamental ways that you can start a new career is by visiting aspecialist careers counselor, advisor, or occupational therapist. In all of these cases, you’ll have the ability to sit down and talk about the different things that you’re not enjoying about your current role – and the things you’re looking for in any future position. These advisors have had hundreds of conversations just like this before, and are sure to be understanding of whatever reasons you put forward for changing career. 

More importantly, though, you will find, in a careers advisor, a welcome array of tips and suggestions regarding any future role you might consider undertaking. They’ll have a huge database of other jobs at their disposal – showing you what other people with your skill sets often do. They can also give you forms, feedback papers, and quizzes or tests that will suggest jobs based on your result. It’s a super option for those who feel like they’re approaching a dead end with regards to their job hunt and optimism. 

Industry Research

If you’re planning on casting yourself into a new industry or working lifestyle, it’s worth taking a few hours out of your week to familiarize yourself with how the industry you’re choosing to enter actually works. There are multiple ways in which you can do this, for instance:

  • Adding ‘favorite’ tabs for different industry-specific news websites and reading them daily.
  • Contacting industry professionals for information and tips.
  • Attending industry events, galas, and conferences in order to rub shoulders with some of the most important people in the business.
  • Look online for YouTube videos, blog posts, and more concerning your chosen industry.
  • Conduct your own fact-finding mission about the top five companies in your chosen industry, and what they might be doing ‘right.’

By educating yourself in this way, you’ll be far better prepared to enter into the industry. Knowledge is to some extent equitable with power – and it’s worth gathering some before you start your new job. 

Find Some Support

It’s fair to say that a career change isn’t the most dramatic thing to happen to adults in the modern world – but it’s still something that’s fairly abrupt and life-changing, given the amount of time that we spend in our place of work each week. If you are planning on casting yourself into an entirely new industry, it’s likely that you are going to feel lonely, isolated, and confused for a little while. Perhaps your self-esteem will take a little tumble as you find your feet in your new job. 

Whatever happens, it’s good to have some loyal members of your family, and understanding friends, around you so that they can prop you up if you’re ever feeling like you could really use some support. So, share your worries with those closest to you, and ensure that at the very least everyone’s aware that you’re going through a tumultuous period in your life, and you’re on your way to better things via a difficult road that they might have to help you over from time to time. 

Taking your first step towards a new career can seem daunting, but in the current job climate, there are thousands of opportunities for motivated individuals to fulfill their ambitious potential and embark on an exciting new employment opportunity. Use the many tips provided above to give you the motivation you need to quit your current role and enter into a new, productive relationship with the world of work. 


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