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There are many reasons that someone might think about changing careers. For some people, they have gone as far as they can go in their current path. When you hit enough roadblocks in receiving a promotion, it may be time to make a change. Other people are simply ready for something new. Tired of the same routine, they long for a career that uses their skills in a different way. If you are thinking about a career switch, it is important to plan ahead to make a smooth transition.

Start Networking Now

Your current network of friends and associates is one of your best resources for finding a job in a new industry. Many of these people already know your strengths and gifts. They can be persuasive voices when they recommend you for a new position. Let people know that you are thinking about change. You will be surprised at how many of your colleagues know someone who knows someone who works in your new field. There are also online platforms that allow you to make connections with potential employers. The more connections you make now, the easier it will be to find a job when you are ready to make the switch.

Deciding the Field

When you are making decisions about a new career, it is important to learn the pros and cons of each potential path. Some careers will require additional education or have long apprenticeships. You need to consider where you are in life to help make your choice. You must decide if you can afford the lost time and income if you have to go back to school for a few years. However, you also need to do your research about how to get your foot in the door. Most career paths have options that require less education or can take prior experience into account. Don’t limit yourself, as even some medical jobs don’t always require grad school.

Highlight Your Experience

While some employers look for a specific background, others are looking for a unique set of skills. Skills that you have grown in one field can apply to another. If you have managed a business in one professional field, you have management skills that could apply to any number of career paths. If you are a creative person, a smart employer will be able to see how your creativity could be adapted for his or her workplace. Do not look at your prior work experience as a limiting factor. Instead, think about it as a snapshot of your specific abilities in use. This will give you a better sense of how you might approach a potential employer and fit in at a new organization.

A career change can be both exciting and frightening as you venture toward the unknown. The process gives you the opportunity to take a deep look at yourself and the skills and talents that you have developed over time. Now, you can apply those skills in a new way as you take the first steps on your next career path.

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