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Get the career you really want with this action plan

MANY PEOPLE are unhappy in their jobs, but you have made the big decision to change your career. So, let’s examine some of the reasons you might have decided that a career change is for you.

Perhaps you are looking for a career with a higher salary, or even a career that allows for a better work life balance. You might have become bored with your current responsibilities, and be looking for a more exciting career. Whatever the reason, you have made the biggest step of all, which is to decide to make your career change a reality!

So, now what? Let’s look at a 10-point career change action plan to make your big plans a reality...

1) Choosing your new career

Assuming that you would like to use your career change, at least partly, to increase the enjoyment you get from the time you spend working, the first thing to do is to seriously think about what you enjoy doing.

2) Do you have what your career change will take?

Now you know what you want to get out of your career change, you must assess whether you have the right skills and experience to get into your new career.

3) If not, do you need to re-train?

If completing a career change was easy, all of us would be in our dream careers right now. So, what is stopping us? Perhaps it is the additional skills which we need to build to be credible in our new career. Don’t think that training, however, is restricted to job-related or academic courses. You can get the skills and experience you need for your career change in many other ways.

4) Accept that you may have to take a cut in salary

Perhaps the main reason for your career change is to earn more money. If so, then that’s great – but it’s always wise to get as much information on your new career to ensure that you will actually earn more money doing it. If, however, your career change is not driven by wanting to achieve more money, you may need to accept a pay cut.

5) Will you be able to finance your career change?

Completing your career change may require a spell without paid employment. As well as tightening your belt, you should also do a thorough re- view of your financial position, including loans, mortgages and credit cards. By switching credit cards, you may find you can save money and get some other benefits.

6) Will you need to relocate?

Perhaps you wish to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living, better schooling or even a better climate. Even if it isn’t, your career change might require relocating – you won’t find many opportunities to be a ski instructor in San Diego.

7) Perhaps you can change your job without moving

Before you assume that you will need to leave your current employer to achieve your career change, have a look around and see if your goals can be satisfied in your current workplace.

8) Find the right job quickly

There are a number of ways to find an employer which every job seeker knows – classified adverts, internet job boards, employer directories, and more. Many jobs, however, are never listed in classified adverts and on job boards because they are filled as soon as they are announced. To make sure that you are in with a chance, develop your networking skills in the sector you wish to work in. Sometimes it can be who you know, not what you know.

9) Do you need to refresh your job-hunting skills?

The chances are, if you’ve been in your current position for a while, that your job-hunting skills could be quite rusty. So take the opportunity to brush up on these skills – you might only get one chance.

10) Stay flexible to reach your career goals

Finally, now that you have made the biggest step and chosen to pursue a career change, don’t rush it. It may take a month or even a year to work out exactly what you want from your career change and to develop the skills, experience and networking to get you into the position you wanted. Don’t settle for something which is ‘almost right’, or you will want to change your whole career once again.

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