How To Change Careers Successfully

Finding the perfect job is one of the most important things we’ll do in this life. As children, we watch in wonderment as the adults in our lives shuffle back and forth between their various occupations. “What on earth are these strange folks up to?” we ask ourselves, and as we age we learn a startling truth – adults need to work for a living, and most of them aren’t too thrilled about it.

When we’re young we’re always being asked what we want to be when we grow up. The question gets tired fast, but it’s a good one. The most common answer is, Rich. We want to be rich when we grow up, and spend our lives jet setting across the globe as basketball players, rappers, famous movie stars or brilliant inventors. Some of us would rather cut to the chase and become masters of the entire universe as soon as we reach our eighteenth birthday. As fun as these occupations are to day dream about, the stark reality is that we will never be any of those things, and once we figure this out we put on our thinking caps and decide exactly what we will do to earn our keep in society.

After deciding on a career and investing all of our time and energy into it for many years, the idea of switching to a new one can be quite daunting. Leaving behind all that hard work and dedication in exchange for something uncertain leaves us nervous and trembling, but change can be good and there are ways to make the transition as painless as possible.

The first thing to keep in mind about your future career is that it’s important to leave your current career on relatively decent terms. Once you’ve made a firm decision regarding your change over, sit down with your employer and explain to him or her what you’re planning to do, and then ask them the best way to make it easy – a way that is going to cause the least amount of inconvenience to your current company. This will make your boss happy, and a happy boss is a boss who recommends you highly in a glowing note to your next employer. Also remember that if your new career doesn’t pan out you may need to ask for your old job back, so be sure you’re able to do so comfortably.

In any career change money is always a factor. Chances are good that you’re going to have to start your new career on the ground floor and work your way to the top of the heap, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a decent little nest egg set aside to help cushion this shaky transition. If at all possible, try to have enough money set aside to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, and your phone working properly for at least a year. This way, even if you fall flat on your face in your new career, you’ll have the bare necessities taken care of and won’t have to beg for a bowl of soup at the local homeless shelter.

If you have a family, be sure to sit down with them and explain your decision to change careers. They are the most important thing in your life, the main reason you have a career at all, and they will no doubt want to chime in with a few ideas of their own when you breach this delicate subject with them. When they do, try your best to actually listen to what they are saying. In a perfect world your wife and children will be thrilled with and fully supportive of your decision, but if they dislike the idea of you making a job jump, counter their concerns with all of the reasons why you want to do it.

Have confidence in your venture. Keep in mind that you’re taking a risk for the sake of your own personal happiness. Our careers will determine whether or not we spend our days miserable or thrilled, and if we end up in the wrong career then it’s time to make a change.