Changing careers is never easy, and for lots of professionals it can be daunting, with many shying away from the challenge for various reasons. Although this may seem like more of an issue for the older generation, you might be surprised at the number of young people who stay in jobs/careers they're unhappy with. This often happens because they are either uncertain about what making a career change will entail, or don’t have the confidence to make the decision to do so.
However, career changes shouldn’t be scary, and as long as you find a business with a good culture and a great team to go with it, most people will find the transition easier than they’d have thought.
My first tip for making a career change, is to make absolutely sure that it’s what you want to do, as well as something that you’re able to do financially. Changing careers can often mean that you’ll be taking a pay cut, and you need to make sure you’re able to do this. For example, if you’ve just moved out, had a baby or taken on a loan for a car, taking a pay cut and moving into a different sector may not be the best idea. However, if your current situation allows you to, my advice is to go for it.
My next tip is to think about your current skills, and how they can be applied to a different sector/career. Unless you’re looking for something completely new, it’s always a good idea to look for a new potential career which will demand similar skills to the ones you’ve learned at your previous job. For example, if your job has been in PR and marketing, then moving to something like financial services may be a good idea. Even though these jobs are very different, you’re still going to be working with clients, and communicating with people externally - so there will definitely be skills which you can transfer.
Once you’ve decided which career you’d like to move into, my next pointer is to read up as much as you can on the occupation, and begin some sort of training. Even though a quick Google will tell you what certain roles entail, nothing will prepare you to move into a sector or career path like actual training. Even attending just a few extra-curricular sessions before leaving your current workplace will go a long way, and will often give you one final indication at whether or not this is what you’d like to do.
The most important thing to remember is that no career move is the be-all and end-all, and if you decide in 6 months’ time that you miss your old profession, or think it’s time for another change, then it’s okay to do so. Even though it’s important to work your way up the ranks within a career/sector, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to one – particularly in your younger years.