Life is often incredibly unpredictable. Sometimes you just up and realize you need to make certain changes – and one of those changes may be your career.
It doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect though. In fact, you may not even need to go back to school to change your career pursuits.
That’s not to say we aren’t advocates of continuing education. It’s just that many people don’t have the luxury of simply going back. Often, time and financial constraints make it an unrealistic option.
Luckily, you may not need to. Here are some other steps you can take to change your trajectory.
Reassess the state of your affairs.
Before you open or close any doors, you should give your position in life some serious thought. When it comes to your immediate future, it’s important that the plans you make are realistic.
Instead of making a blind leap of faith into the unknown, you can instead make a subtle, gradual shift. This may mean beginning your pursuit of a new career without fully changing your life.
Start some conversations.
If you’ve already got a good idea of what you’d like to pursue, that’s a great start. Try talking to folks you know who are already doing it. Your friends and acquaintances can often be an incredible resource.
If you don’t know anyone in the field you’re considering, perhaps it’s time to make some new friends. Look for online discussion groups or even real-life meetups and mixers you can attend.
As you find others who enjoy their work, you’ll likely find they’re also keen to talk about it. This can help you decide if it’s really the right move for you.
Schedule an informational interview.
Once you’re sure of your goals, why not try scheduling an informational interview? These informal meetings can be incredibly useful when it comes to learning about a new career. You’ll be able to gather intel regarding job descriptions as well as various employers.
Just be sure you’re straightforward about your intentions. Make it clear that you’re simply looking to learn more, not necessarily to apply for an opening.
Find your crossover skills.
Almost all careers have crossover skills, even if these are just soft skills like your ability to communicate well.
Think about the skills you use frequently in your current position and write them down. Then, make a list of skills required for your desired job. Perhaps you’ll find some matches.
If you already possess some of the necessary skills, those will be a huge asset when speaking with hiring managers.
Fill in the blanks.
After discovering your crossover skills, you’ll want to start focusing on filling in the skill gaps.
Consider the skills you need but don’t already possess and see if there’s a way you can quickly develop them. Perhaps there’s an online class you can take or an apprenticeship opportunity.
Anywhere you can gain varied experience will be beneficial to your goal. That may mean volunteering, freelancing, or shadowing a professional. The more experience you can gain, the better.
While a hiring manager could give you a chance simply based on your enthusiasm, having a bolstered résumé never hurts.