eset. Reboot. Restart
There could be many reasons why you may want to hit the reset button on your current career. Maybe the industry you are in has gone into a tailspin. Maybe you are returning to work after a long break and want to restart your career. Or maybe you are just plain fed up with the daily humdrum. If you are someone who is considering changing their career, here are nine steps to ensure that it is a success.
Plan for the long term
Think about the goals that you are likely to achieve over a period of 10 to 20 years in the new career. Only then will your decision make sense. In the short term, expect the journey to be tough. However, just like in your first career, slogging daily through the bad days will get you skills, control, success and income.
Play to your strengths
Your first career was probably a result of coincidences, family and peer pressure, and a limited understanding of career options. But with your second career, make it about yourself. What kind of work do you truly enjoy doing and are good at? What kind of environment or people energise you? What provides meaning to your days? Prioritise among these parameters to find which domains match you best.
If you are returning to work after a long break of, say a few years, know that the professional world has moved on. People who worked with you earlier have more years of experience and are now senior managers. Do not benchmark yourself against them as your past reputation and achievements do not count as much. Be realistic about what to expect and how hard to negotiate.
Get out and meet people
Since you are not plugged into the eco-system, it will not be easy for you access the right and timely information on opportunities. Therefore, get out and meet people. The more you socialise and have conversations with connections, the greater is the probability that you will stumble upon opportunities.
Off the beaten path
To get a leg up, think beyond the obvious opportunities. Think about options in non-profits. Before you apply for jobs, consider gaining free experience by volunteering or doing internships. Also, work part-time in a second job after normal work hours in your first career.
Ask for help
You may have decade of experience in your primary career, but in the new one, you are still a fresher. So, like a newbie, ask for help from others. Instead, keep an open mind from where help may come from.
Be confident about the expertise you have garnered in your primary career or past achievements before the break. If you don’t feel confident, simply act the part. With some practice, your positive body language will rub off on both you and your listener permitting promising interactions.
Give before you ask
When you meet potential employers, discuss outcomes you can deliver. If your past skills are not relevant, seek education or freelance opportunities to learn new marketable skills and demonstrate your ability. Also, if you are changing professions, identify transferable skills.
Keep a strict eye on your finances
Set aside an emergency fund. Make sure you have medical insurance and have planned your loan payments. If you are planning to be an entrepreneur, keep a safety buffer over and above the working capital budgeted for your venture.