How to Navigate a Career Change in 10 Steps

A recent IONOS study looking into entrepreneurship in America found that over 82% of people want to change careers and make the move into self-employment. When asked about their current professions, 35% of the study’s participants stated that they are dissatisfied at work, with women and mothers making up a higher percentage (38%) of those who want a new career entirely.

Considering career change

With so many dissatisfied with their jobs, we asked expert career coach Caroline Castrillon for her advice on how to manage a job change. Here’s how it went:

1. Change Your Mindset

The age old saying “What you think, you become” rings true. To change your career path, you must be open to all possibilities and be able to move forward despite fear. Changing how you think and speak makes a massive difference. Try affirmations like “I can do this” and “I am fearless” to help you gain confidence in yourself. It’s surprising what the powers of positive self-talk can do.

2. Don’t Focus on Money

The most common excuse for not changing careers is money. Changing jobs is a calculated risk, and if you plan for it properly, you’ll be safe. Your new career might earn you a higher salary with time – don’t hold back because of money fears.

3. Think About Your Transferable Skills

Changing career paths doesn’t mean you’ll be starting from the bottom. You will already have tons of transferable skills! A lawyer will have writing, speaking, and research skills. A marketer will understand customer lifecycles and personas. Whatever your current career, you will have transferable skills and assets that can be valuable in almost any job.

4. Decide on Your ‘Why’

Let faith drive you in your decision-making process, not fear. Think about why you want to make a career change and run towards something instead of running away. Is the problem with your current job something that can be fixed? Or do you genuinely want a change in your profession? When you think about why you want to do something different, it helps you decide on what that something different might be.

5. Find The Sweet Spot

Find a crossover of things you enjoy and things that you are good at. Doing an exercise as such helps guide you towards a career that aligns with your talents, values, and interests.

Pondering businessman

6. Brainstorm

Start brainstorming! Make a list of potential career options and keep an open mind! Leave judgment at the door and try to have fun with all your options. Write down your biggest career dreams.

7. Research, Research, Research!

Find mentors and people that already have the career you are interested in. Ask for advice so you can learn what it’s like to work in your desired field. Research online and join organizations to help expand your network.

8. Learn New Skills

Your new career path may require additional education or certifications. Consider taking online courses, reading books, and listening to podcasts to learn the skills required for your desired role. This will help you find if this new path is right for you, and will help you get prepared going forward.

9. Try It Out

Test the waters and try shadowing someone or creating a side hustle in your chosen profession. You could even consider volunteering or working part-time to see if you can imagine committing fully to your idea.

10. Get Planning!

Develop an action plan. Once you’ve worked your way through the above steps, create an action plan with short and long-term goals. Start planning all the necessary steps that you will need to take to help you transition to your new career!

To read the full interview with Caroline Castrillon, and to discover more about what Americans think of their careers and self-employment, download the free book “New Insight into Entrepreneurship in America”.