The current economic climate has made changing careers a decision that most of us must contemplate. But you are worried that you can’t begin all over again and sacrifice the income you make in your current career. This is certainly a justifiable fear, and one that many others (including this author) have suffered. While you cannot eliminate the loss of income, you can ameliorate the loss by taking a few steps.
What are you passionate about?
Usually, what we are best at is what we absolutely love to do. What we love to do, when incorporated into a job, can bring great satisfaction. For this reason it can help to take some time to ponder what makes you tick and what you really enjoy doing the most.
Take a look at your income and expenses
Sadly, most people in our culture do not have a lot of savings set aside for situations like this, which is something that needs to happen anyway as a buffer if you’re laid off from a job you like. If you have the ability and the time, you need to look at ways of reducing your outgoing expenses on a monthly basis by getting out of debt as much as possible. Sell some stuff you don’t use anymore if it will help you create any sort of a financial buffer. Taking these steps to prepare will help reduce the pressure. The last thing you need is a career distraction and financial distractions at the same time.
Research new career possibilities
This is best done before you leave your current job. Keeping your job as long as you can whilst you plan will keep you financially afloat and give you time to discover new possibilities while you are not under financial strain.
Have a look at what your passion is, and find out which jobs incorporate, or entail doing, your favorite things.
Never ignore the situation because you think you don’t have time for change
Statistics say the average person spend 70,000+ hours of their life in some form of a career. Taking a few hours to really explore how you want to spend those can greatly help you. It won’t be time wasted by any means.
Prepare For Added Stress
Changing careers will be stressful enough, try to avoid other major stresses in your life – getting married, having a new baby, relocating across the country – so you can concentrate on your work. Put yourself in a position where you can make the most of your opportunities, concentrating on the job so you can maximize your earnings. For your sanity’s sake, keep some stability in your life, so you have something familiar to fall back on if necessary, or just to provide a bit of moral (or financial) support when it’s needed.
Don’t Burn your Bridges
Often easier said than done, but if things don’t go well with your new career, you might need to return to your OLD career, even if it’s just to regroup and refinance your efforts. If you can’t go hat in hand to your previous employer, you may want to return to a similar job, and word will get around if you left your last position under a cloud. Until you are a success and making your millions, keep your options open. And if nothing else, your old boss (even if he was a stinker) may become your new customer – or may recommend you in your new career, because of your previous connections.
Changing careers isn’t always smooth, but with a bit of planning, you needn’t go broke. Consider your options, make sure the opportunities are really out there, make your plans, and good luck – changing careers can work, and it can work for YOU!