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How to Change Careers Without Starting Over

  • 11th Jan'23

The idea of starting over in a completely different field is one of the most terrifying things to ponder.

Being labeled the novice. The underdog. These all have negative connotations.

Additionally, it impacts you long after you've secured a job in your new field. The difficulties and uneasy emotions do not go away immediately.

You are confident in what you want to accomplish next, but because you feel like an "outsider" in the field, you are hesitant and anxious when searching for jobs. It affects how you network with professionals in the industry, leaving you feeling inadequate, pointless, unimpressive, and alone. How to change careers without starting over?

Finding a solution to get rid of that "outsider" sensation is then the challenge, all while becoming an "insider" while still being an "outsider." You should prepare yourself with the information, self-assurance, and insider behaviors before you ever get a whiff of a paycheck.

It seems like a good concept, doesn't it? However, is it feasible? What if you have a full-time job and are strapped for time? Will it not take ages?

In a nutshell, sure, it is doable. And no, it will not take that long.

And this strategy's dual nature makes it beautiful. It not only makes you feel more self-assured and competent but also alters how you interact with those who can support you in making a difference. It changes how people perceive you, the possibilities you can seize, and the efficiency, expedience, and enjoyment of your complete career transition.

There are two games to play: the "do" game and the "connect" game. Both begin becoming "insider" in their chosen field, even from the outside.

A career move can be the answer if you can already see the writing on the wall or simply wish to broaden your horizons in a developing industry. However, you might also want to hedge your bets at this point in your rehabilitation by not diving headfirst into a brand-new career. Fortunately, it is possible to switch careers without having to start from scratch.

6 Ways to Change Careers Without Starting Over:

1. Climb the Ladder

You should consider moving up instead of out! Can you currently picture yourself taking on additional responsibility and managing (more) personnel if advancement is part of the plan? If so, talk to your current company about possible career pathways and advancement chances. Generally speaking, you will have more options available to you. The variety of professions available could surprise you. It is because hiring practices at big businesses and government organizations usually favor internal promotions.

You still have the option to pursue this by doing a job search if your alternatives with your current employer are constrained or nonexistent. Set your sights on the next rung of the career ladder after having your resume and LinkedIn profile professionally polished. Find out if there are any requirements that you are missing, and then create a plan to fix or improve your skills.


2. Change Industry

Numerous job routes lack industry distinction, if you are in one of these roles, switching industries might be the best course of action. Stop your wanderlust without having to start anew. Marketing, public relations, sales, company development, customer service, administration, and accounting are just a few examples of these professions. You can put your hard-earned knowledge and experience to use with new goods, services, and technologies by switching industries.

That does not imply that changing industries is easy. Industry experience is a required criterion by hiring managers and recruiters for many open positions. You might need to make use of your professional network to overcome this bias and convince skeptical employers. Develop relationships with people in the industry to learn the ropes and facilitate a few introductions.

You can benefit from the "halo" effect if you are well-known in your current field. This means that if you are successful in one field, others will probably think you would be an excellent candidate for jobs in a related field.


3. Pivot 

If a managerial role doesn't appeal to you and you like many elements of your current job, just take a different path. Consider the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most. What other professions carry out the same duties? Do any of those occupations appeal to you?

Spend some time coming up with ideas and evaluating your abilities and passions. For instance, you might be interested in learning how to code if you've been creating technical documentation for software applications. As an alternative, you can look into blogging on technical topics. Another example would be fundraising for organizations if you have experience managing social media profiles and corporate branding initiatives.

Try taking one or more career aptitude tests if you're unsure of where to begin. Yes, similar to the ones you were required to take in high school. What was previously assigned to us may no longer be relevant as personalities and priorities change. Checking in with oneself occasionally is a good idea. Otherwise, you can end up pursuing goals that are irrelevant now, twenty years later.


4. Get a Side Gig

Taking on a side gig is another way to transition into a new career without feeling the strain. This is a fantastic method to exercise your entrepreneurial muscles with little risk. It is also known as a side business. Despite the numerous depressing reports in the media about failing small enterprises, there is cause for optimism.

One significant problem is letting your side hustle take up so much of your time and energy that you are unable to finish your full-time job. There are many contract, part-time, and freelance jobs available if you're not ready to launch a new firm. By changing the "employment status" criteria, you can find these openings in the Virtual Vocations jobs database. Additionally, be sure to establish that you are not going against the terms of your present contract by contacting your current company.

Also read : What is career cushioning and how can IT professionals leverage it?


5. Provide Professional or Consulting Services

This is a terrific method to make the transition to new employment easier if you have the knowledge and training to provide specialized advice and services. Until you feel confident enough to quit your full-time work, you can start small by taking on one customer at a time. This strategy is beneficial even if you're seeking to completely change careers because consulting can be lucrative and flexible enough to allow you to pursue other hobbies.

There is a lengthy and diverse list of consulting options. Marketing, public relations, event organizing, web development, accountancy, recruiting, and other vocations are just a few that naturally lend themselves to this kind of employment. Specialized experience, a track record of accomplishment in your sector, and an active professional network that will attest to your abilities are all necessary for being a successful consultant.

It is critical to recognize the need you will meet for your customer in addition to knowing the kind of work you are competent to do as a consultant. Are you, as a management consultant, going to address organizational issues, for instance? Perhaps you work as a small business accountant and provide an outsourced service. Perhaps you're working to create core operations for a new business in your industry.

6. Work from Home

Change your lifestyle if you can't change your career. One of the most significant changes brought about by the epidemic is the shift to remote work. If you are not already working remotely, you might want to think about switching to remote employment as a means to shift careers without having to start from scratch. After reading all these suggestions, you may conclude that you want a new life path rather than a new career path.

Make sure to take advantage of the options it offers if you already work from home. Spend the time you would otherwise spend traveling to new jobs or activities. To determine what increases your productivity and fosters creativity, experiment by modifying your workspace and other behaviors.

Many remote jobs provide you the freedom to move, which is in addition to shaking up your routine. If you want to improve your quality of life and reside in a city with a high cost of living, this is a great benefit. This is also a benefit if you've always wanted to live on an island or a mountaintop, places where it would be difficult to obtain employment otherwise. As more and more countries introduce extended visa programs for remote workers, becoming a digital nomad is no longer a fantasy.


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Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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