The thought of switching careers can be scary. People get comfortable where they are and often choose to remain unhappy rather than take the leap. Fortunately, this may be changing. A study conducted by Harris Poll found that the majority of U.S workers are considering a job change this year, and as many as 44% already have concrete plans in place.
While it can be an intimidating idea, starting a new career is possible if you stay focused, motivated, prepared, and committed to the process. Even if you lack proper job experience, there are many ways to enter a new field from scratch.
Here are 5 unique ways to get you started in a new career.
1. Complete a self-assessment
People desire change for a number of reasons. Lack of fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction are just a few causes for unhappiness in your job. It is important to know what you really want and why. Introspection is a powerful tool that will allow you to get a clear picture of your deeper thoughts and attitude toward your work. Take a closer look at your skills, gifts, and abilities, and write out how you would enjoy implementing these things. You may also make a list of things you do not want to do in your new career to rule out certain jobs.
2. Research Job Options
There may be several careers that appeal to your interests, but in order to really understand whether any of them would be a good fit, you should probably do some digging around. You can browse company websites, check job descriptions, or even sign up for a course on Udemy, Coursera, or Lynda.com to test out different industries firsthand. The good news is that nearly everything can be done virtually, which makes this process much easier. If you are considering a job field that seems to be outside the scope of virtual learning, you may be surprised to know that even specialized job fields are offered online. For example, you can obtain an online masters in aerospace engineering if you are looking into such a field. There are no limits to what you can find when you take the time and effort to research your options.
One of the most powerful actions you can take is to connect with others. So often, it is in and through these meaningful relationships that we open ourselves up to new opportunities and partnerships. Networking allows us to learn and grow together and also provides a foundation of support. It is also likely that you will have access to someone in the group who can give you the inside scoop about the job field you are considering.
4. Learn New Skills
Before you are ready to step into a new job field, you may need to learn a few skills. You can acquire these skills in many ways, including job shadowing, courses and workshops, and/or direct implementation in your current job role. While some skills may be more specialized, there are plenty that you can learn simply by studying and practicing them on your own. Find out which skills are required for the career you are interested in and put a plan of action together to learn them.
5. Consider an Innovative Approach
Since 2021, the Great Resignation has resulted in 33 million Americans resigning from their jobs. Unemployment is at an all-time low, and many companies are scrambling to fill positions. This is great news for employees and opens up a new opportunity to be creative in your approach. One job seeker, Andrew Horner, decided to turn the tables in his hunt for work. Rather than spending precious time submitting resumes and applying for jobs, he decided to create a reverse job application website, where he invited employers to apply to be his employer! Now that is innovative. Other ideas include creating video resumes and personal websites or digital portfolios where potential employers get to see more of your unique personality and offerings. Each time you decide to change job fields, there are new hoops to jump through. The reality is, however, that most people will have an average of 12 jobs during their lives, and nearly 30% of people have changed careers entirely since starting their first job after college. The lesson? You are not alone in wanting to switch job fields, and you can start from scratch at any time if you are willing to put in the time and effort.