Perhaps the most important tip for a mid-career change is to fully understand why it is you are looking to change careers. As a seasoned employee, you have an advantage that entry-level employees do not yet possess. This is the ability to determine what it is that you loved about your old job, and what it is that you hated.
I recommend you create a list of pros and cons within your current position. Once you have done that, it is going to be a lot easier to determine what direction you should take this mid-career change. Take a minute right now to create your “Mid-Career Change Pros vs. Cons list.”
Now that you know exactly what it is you like and dislike in a job, you can begin to research careers that you are interested in and decide if they fit your list.
Where to research your new career
If you already know exactly what type of job you want with your mid-career change then skip this section and go down to the next. If you are still unsure, read on. There are a couple basic yet effective ways to determine a solid job for your mid-career change.
Online career quiz
There are about a zillion different online career tests/quizzes that you can take to help you determine where your skills could be useful. Most of these career quizzes are 100% free so don’t hesitate to take more than one. Assuming you are aiming for this to be your last mid-career change, it can’t hurt to reassure yourself that the results were accurate.
Do a Google search
I am sure that you think you are a great fit for a ton of positions. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. The only way you can know for sure is to research these positions and compare what you find with your recently developed mid-career change list.
Say for example you are interested in becoming a “Mechanical Engineer”. Do a quick search by typing in “Mechanical Engineering Jobs Near Me.” You are most likely to come across some major job boards or staffing agencies that show a listing for these jobs.
Click on a few of them and read the job descriptions. Does this sound like something you are going to enjoy? Do you have any relevant skills to be successful in a position like this? If yes, awesome! The next step is to apply for these jobs. If no, then try this method again with some other job titles. Remember, you want to get this mid-career change right the first time. Bouncing from job to job can reflect negatively on your loyalty. For tips on how to apply for jobs online check out How To Apply For Jobs Online.
Get help from a professional
There are a ton of great services out there where you can hire someone to do all the work for you. Simply tell them about your previous experience and they will do the research on where your skills could be best applied. Some of these companies will even adjust your resume and apply for jobs on your behalf.
5 mid-career mistakes to avoid
For the sake of this article, I am going to assume that the next career you choose, you plan to stick with for a while. So please make sure to avoid these common mistakes, or you will quickly find yourself changing careers again.
- One of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing a job solely because you have a friend or family member who is “in the industry” and is “doing well financially.”
- Do not spend a fortune going back to school on a career that you may or may not even enjoy.
- Think about your bills. Obviously, you cannot go from a career paying you 6 figures to a job paying you minimum wage when you have a mortgage.
- Don’t rush; make sure that this mid-career change is a great fit for you! If you haven’t created your pros and cons list, you will probably regret it.
- The lone ranger approach. Don’t be a lone ranger. There are so many resources out there to help you make this mid-career change so take advantage of them!
P.S. We love you
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