How To Change A Career Path: Five Approaches To Decision-Making

A few weeks ago, I made a major decision to leave the job I had for some time. When figuring out how to change a career path, I knew it was the right time to leave the company I worked for over four years. Now that I’m no longer an employee for JPMorgan Chase, I feel relieved but also concerned about what will come in the next several months.

How to change a career path: Is changing careers a good idea?

Believe me, it was not an easy decision to make. My family was strongly against my decision, as it was a comfortable, “secure” job I had. They prefer I stay in the traditional, “safe” route, but I wasn’t falling for it.

Reflecting over the past year, I know that route is quite misleading and not as safe as I thought it was.

But I decided what was best for me, and I feel no shame in what others told me not to do. I’m now starting a new job elsewhere, though I’m not sure how long I’ll be there. 

The work I’m doing is similar to my last job, and I don’t intend to be there forever. I consider it as part of my path to a career change, and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about.

Where do I start when changing careers?

If you’re not sure where to start, I encourage you to ask some of the following questions:

  • Do I find my current career self-fulfilling?
  • Am I doing work that provides value while helping others?
  • Am I ready to go through a difficult transition ahead?
  • Will this career change help achieve my long-term goals?

These are questions to keep in mind when considering a career change. If you’re not satisfied with where you’re at, maybe now is the best time for a change in direction.

In this post, I’m going to review a few approaches you should consider when making a decision. These points should help carve out a path in a new direction ahead.

Five approaches to changes in career path

How to change a career path: Start over with an open mind

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Whenever you make a change in your career path, you always want to be open-minded. Going into a brand new field from your previous job can be a bit nerve-wracking.

However, if you’re open-minded about what you want from your new path, it’ll be much easier to adjust down the road.

For instance, transitioning from a corporate career to a more laid-back one can be a relief. If you don’t enjoy sitting in an office or wearing a suit and tie all the time, it’s nice to not worry about those things. 

Depending on what kind of work you do, your new job could be mean more flexibility. Are you willing to adjust to different work schedules, instead of a traditional 9-5 office job? Do you like changing things up rather than doing the same tasks each day? These questions are good to keep in mind when switching careers.

Other questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • What do I want the most out of my career?
  • Do I find myself fulfilled with the work I do?
  • Will my new career help accomplish my long-term goals?

Use non-traditional ways to find work 

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A resume is the most common resource to have when applying for jobs. Although resumes are necessary to fill out job applications, there are other ways you can find work.

One other alternative is informal networking or connections tied to your family. These can be colleagues of your relatives or people who use to work with your family for some time.

This type of networking can be beneficial if your family knows people working in your industry. It’s an easier approach, but it all depends if those connections are in your career interests. If so, be sure to reach out to them for opportunities in your career field.

Other ways to find work can be through freelancing or as an independent contractor. Sites such as Fiverr, Upwork,  and Freelancer.com all have small jobs that you can do. These are considered short-term gigs if you want to make more money on the side. Or if you’re up for the challenge, maybe do it full-time if you’re willing to take on new challenges.

More so, taking on freelance work or short-term gigs can help develop your skillset if you want a better job at some point. If you can’t get that dream job yet, maybe learning new skills today can help a long way.

Invest in your human capital

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One of the best things you can do is to increase your human capital. By this meaning, you should always be learning new things if you want to stay ahead in life. Trends around the world keep changing, which means new practices are adopted in the workplace. What you’re used to doing today may not be the same way you do things tomorrow.

It’s a good habit to invest in things you know best. However, if that happens to not be the case, then you should invest in yourself.

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Investing in your potential is the best thing you can do to get ahead in life. For personal or professional reasons, it’s a good practice to keep investing in yourself regardless.

For myself, I do the best I can to learn new skills that will help me do better down the road. For example, understanding content marketing has helped me become a better content creator. I feel much more confident when I’m writing articles or product reviews. At this point, I know what I have to do to create high-quality content.

At the same time, I know I have to learn new ways to create engaging content. What I’m doing now may not be suitable in several years. I’m sure there will be other ways to promote my content that will help keep it relevant.

Give it time and be patient

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Whether you’re looking for a job or starting on a new career path, you have to patient. Job searches can take longer than usual (Believe me I’ve been through it before- no fun at all!). Or if you’re starting a brand new job, it’ll take some time to get adjusted to it.

Regarding a new job in a different field, it certainly will take patience. To reiterate, going from a corporate job to a more relaxed type of environment can be a big move.

I say this as you may not do things the same way as in a corporate job. If you’re used to repetitiveness and sitting in an office all day, a more flexible job might not be the best choice.

But if you want to change it up, you’ll need to be patient. After some time in a more flexible job, you may end up enjoying that new job. I tend to feel nervous whenever I start a new job. But after being there for a couple of weeks or so, I feel much more comfortable than before.

Work on time management

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One of the most important things to do is managing your time wisely. When it comes to focusing on your career, learning time management skills can help you stay focused on your goals. When looking for work, or starting your new career, you mustn’t waste time when you’re trying to achieve long-term goals.

The meaning of time management can mean many things. When it comes to advancing your career, it’s all about working on the right kind of tasks. Such tasks include learning new skills, networking with like-minded people, or even growing your business. If you’re an entrepreneur, time management is always a top priority on your to-do list.

Wherever you are in your career, time can be your most valuable asset. Then again, you may disagree with me if time is your worst enemy. Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you use the time the proper way, it can help you avoid frustration and headaches along the way. When it comes to changing your career path, be mindful of how you use your time.

Wrap-Up

Determining whether to change career paths is not an easy decision to make. If you happen to be in this dilemma, the approaches I went over can help you carve out the path a little easier.

These are some points I kept in mind when making the decisions to switch jobs. I’ll continue to refer back to them when I make major decisions down the road. Hopefully, this outline will be much easier for you as you consider your decisions.

A Special 15th Anniversary This Week

As I wrote in my previous post, it’s been over a year since I started my venture in internet marketing. This week happens to be a special anniversary for the best online platform out there. As of September 2020, Wealthy Affiliate is going on 15 years and continues to offer the best in online entrepreneurship (particularly with affiliate marketing).

Related to the topic of changing career paths, this platform might be worth giving a try. If you’ve wanted to explore entrepreneurship online, Wealthy Affiliate might be your best option. It’s possible to make a full-time income through the internet- Wealthy Affiliate can create a path for you to get to that viable option.

If you want more information, check out my introductory letter and see if it’s meant for you. If not, that’s completely fine. But you might be missing out on a great opportunity to invest in your future. So check it out if you’re interested. I’ll see you on the other side of the aisle.

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Are you considering a career change? If so, what are some obstacles you’re facing right now? What’s the biggest challenge to switching careers?

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