Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Working on someone else's powerpoint presentation - while desperately wishing you could devote your life to something that means more to you than someone else’s deliverables for someone else’s clients?
It's time to take a leap in your career. If you're not happy, you deserve the chance to take a different road, no matter what that entails. Gone are the days when people picked a career path and pursue the same for their whole lives. As recently as twenty years ago, most people who started out in one career retired from a higher-level version of the first job they accepted out of school. That isn't the case today!
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
1. Know Your Motivations
Most importantly, you should be willing to go back to basics. You may have to take a few steps back - may be go back to school or get your hands dirty working on something you loved as a kid. It also means that you are comfortable having a pay cut while you are starting up. Regardless of how experienced and talented you are, at your current job today, you'll need to prove yourself all over again in this new field.
The uplifting news? It normally goes much quicker the second (or third or fourth) time around. Do you love telling stories? Gear up - because now you will have your own story to tell!
Freelancing is a great way to gain experience in a certain field, and getting introduced to an industry without having to permanently commit.
So, see how you might be able to lend your skills to some outside projects on your nights, weekends, or time off. It’s great if you can get paid, but don’t worry if you have to volunteer or be an intern and work for free at first. Labels don’t matter—developing skills and contacts does matter. Whether it’s writing, designing, content strategy, or project management or anything else, the more work you have under your belt, the easier it will be to take on new clients for a fee or find a paying role in that field.
3. Go Back To School
There are some great programs out there that don't require a standard live-on-campus approach and are perfect for continuing your education from wherever you are, on your own creative terms. The term “lifelong learning” exists for a reason, and we’re all about it.
These Executive Courses are a hive of innovative, continuing education opportunities offering an exciting and immersive network where you can meet a uniquely diverse and like-minded community of fellow innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, and activists.
There are a number of online learning programs as well, where you can learn useful skills regardless of what industry you’re in or where you are.
Your education doesn't just include the lessons you learn but also the people you meet. Build professional relationships with your classmates and professors, even if you're studying online.
4. Work On Your Cover Letter And LinkedIn Summary
When transitioning into a brand new career, it's essential that you include a very strong cover letter with your resume. In it, you'll want to express your desire to change careers and discuss why your existing skills make that a logical progression in your professional growth. Be specific, energetic, and persuasive.
Tell your story. Share your passion. Express your desire to learn and explain what you've done so far to help make this transition possible.
5. Get Creative About Your Income
At some point, you may want to leave your full-time job to truly dedicate yourself to work on a new career path with a different set of skills. And in this case, it can be helpful to find alternative ways to make money. Whether you Airbnb your apartment, take two part-time jobs instead of one full-time job, or work as a barista, or Etsy vendor, remember that income is possible from a variety of sources. Don’t be afraid to do some experiments while you explore new professional outlets.
A successful career transition takes time so don't get impatient. If it's a move you believe in, it's worth it. You can always start slow, right where you are. Even one small step in the right direction can make a big impact. Stay motivated and focused on the end goal. And most importantly, don't give up.