A lot of people who have been in one career for a long time (and the definition of long may vary from one person to another) fantasize about how fresh and exciting it would be to pivot into a new career.
Sometimes the new career is within an existing organization and sometimes it entails running a business of your own. And while in most cases a new career is certainly exciting, it is important to think through it long and hard to ensure that it addresses all the pain points you are currently dealing with.
Try it on for size
Before you invest in an expensive degree or course, ensure that you really are sure about your new career. However, it is a better idea to take a course and learn the nitty-gritties of a potential career than quitting and jumping into the new role if your options to try it on are limited. Another way to try it on is to identify a startup that deals with the area that you want to move to and offer a few hours of free labour.
Keep in mind that if you do want your new career to be a business then you will most likely be a start-up and it helps to understand the non-technical aspects of your venture such as how to build and market your product and how to finance growth. If that is not an option, go through your professional contacts, say on LinkedIn and reach out to someone who is living the kind of role that you want to take up.
While this should not be the focus of reinventing yourself in a new, more exciting career, keep in mind that moving into a new career often entails starting from the bottom. This may sometimes be accompanied by a pay cut. Keep the goal in mind and speak to someone knowledgeable about how to market your transferable skills as fit for use in the new career.
Evaluate whether you are seeking a new profession for the challenge, the novelty, the money, the growth etc and ensure that you keep your eyes focused on the potential prize. In this way, sacrifices made in the near term will help you understand the long term gains.
- Ensure that you research the trends in the career or industry you want to join such as the potential growth or slowdown.
- Find a way of trying on a new career without leaving your current one lest you find out the aspects you are running from being even more prevalent where you're headed.