While years ago people tended to choose one career path and stick to it, these days it’s the norm for citizens to have multiple job types during their working life. When it comes to making a career change though, many people end up stuck. They may hate their current role, be sick of it or have another reason to move on to something better but nevertheless struggle to actually make the change.
If you feel like you’re in this position right now, read on for some of the key issues that could be holding you back and some tips for navigating them successfully.
Lack of Qualifications
For starters, something that trips a lot of people up is not having the right qualifications for a new job type. If this is holding you back from going after your dream job, remember that it’s actually probably easier than you think to get the training and paperwork you require.
For example, you don’t have to quit your current job and survive on little to no income while you study. Instead, you can take advantage of online learning. There are all sorts of great programs that can be studied remotely now, from MBAs and engineering degrees through to employment law courses, accounting programs, marketing degrees and much more.
This is also helpful if time and money aren’t a concern but gaining access to the right course is. Since eLearning means you can access education from anywhere in the world, you can get a qualification in an area even if it’s not currently offered by your local university or other provider.
Low Level of Confidence
If you have a low level of self-esteem, you may feel like you aren’t “good enough” to work in your preferred job type and that you don’t have enough of the necessary attributes, such as intellect, social skills, network, looks or the like to make a go of it.
If you’re in this situation, don’t give up. Keep in mind that no matter how low your confidence may be right now, this is something that doesn’t have to stay stagnant. You can work on yourself to build up enough confidence to get where you want to be.
For instance, get some public-speaking training and/or join a Toastmasters club to practice your communication skills; build your network through your social media presence or by attending relevant events; hire a resume writer or interview coach to help you get your application documents in order; and improve at answering interview questions; or get some work experience to add to your resume.
You might also want to find a mentor to coach you, get a new haircut or wardrobe to feel good about your presentation or speak with people currently working in the job type you’d like, to see what is really required. Of course, another key step may be to find a counselor or other mental health practitioner who can assist you to raise your confidence levels.
Concerns About Finances
Many people know exactly what they want to do and are sure they can perform the job well — but they don’t actually apply for new roles because they have major concerns about their finances. This is understandable since it can be daunting thinking about having to retrain and then work your way up from an entry-level position to something more senior with good earning capacity. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to spell the end of your career dreams.
You can take steps to deal with the money side of things, so you feel comfortable enough to move forward. If your money worries seem paralyzing, get out of a downward spiral by doing research on your preferred job type. Ask yourself, does it actually pay as little as you think for entry-level roles, and will it take as long as you fear to move through the ranks? Often people find that they can make progress more quickly than expected.
In addition, by planning carefully, you can take steps to change careers without having to stress constantly about finances. For example, speak with your current employer to see if they might be open to paying for your studies if it means you stay with the company and bring new skills and knowledge to it. Your boss might enable you to move positions, so you end up doing the kind of work you’re most interested in.
You could also work out how much money you need saved up for a transition period and then work hard to accumulate this over a period of one to two years, or more as necessary. That way, you’ll eventually be able to change careers with little financial stress.