Knowing what to consider when changing careers can help you make a successful new start.

An unfulfilling career can drain your energy and complicate your life. But changing career paths can seem daunting. Is it worth the hassle? It definitely can be if you take the right steps to maximize your chances of making a successful change. Moving from a career you dislike to a career that fulfills you can improve your life. If you’re ready for a change, here are some strategies to follow:

Ask yourself what you dislike about your current career

Many people experience vague dissatisfaction with their job. But if you’re thinking about changing careers, you need to get specific about why you’re dissatisfied now. Is the industry boring to you? Are there few or no opportunities for career advancement? Is your salary too low? Are you not challenged enough? Take time to consider the things you dislike about your current career path so you have a clear sense of what to avoid moving forward.

Focus on your passions

If you’re like most people, then finding a fulfilling career is about finding a job that relates to your passions and interests. Consider what parts of your life excite you and what hobbies you most enjoy. Don’t worry if there doesn’t seem to be an obvious link between what you enjoy and existing career paths—just write down all the things that fulfill you.

Research careers

Once you’ve considered your passions, you can discover how the essence of the activities you enjoy might connect with existing careers. If you like discussing politics, you might be interested in a career that deals with matters of public policy. If you enjoy caretaking, you might want to choose a career path that gives you the opportunity to do so, such as a career in nursing. As a mentor, you might enjoy a career in education. If you love computers, you might look into an IT career. If you are energized by volunteer work, you might consider becoming a social worker. Once you find a career that seems right for you, spend time researching it to make sure it will really offer you a chance to be fulfilled.

Career development can begin with an online education

A certain career might be the perfect fit for your interests and passions, but unless you have the necessary skills to land a job in that field, you’re going to have a difficult time making a change. The good news is that online education offers a great way to gain the skills and knowledge you need without upending your life. Thanks to the flexibility and convenience of online learning, you can keep working at your current job as you learn new skills and earn a degree that can help you land a new job. If you have a bachelor’s degree, consider earning a master’s degree. If you have a master’s degree, you may want to look into earning a doctorate or perhaps a certificate. The best online universities offer a wide range of options in a variety of the most popular fields. You can earn everything from a nursing degree to an IT degree to a degree in social work, public policy, or education, among others.

Network, network, network

Finding a new job is about a lot more than browsing the internet for opportunities. As a working adult, you no doubt have plenty of business contacts as well as friends and acquaintances. Do you know anyone who works in the industry you hope to enter? How about anyone at a company that employs people in the career you want? Any connections you have—or can make—can help you uncover existing job openings and opportunities. If you have a good relationship with your current employer, you can even talk to management about changing careers in-house.

Present yourself well

When you are seeking to switch careers, you need more than a professional résumé and business attire for the interview. You can help improve your chances of getting a job offer by clearly explaining why you want to change careers. Don’t hesitate to talk about the passions that led to your desired career, either. And, if you’ve earned an online degree, use the time and energy you put into your degree program as proof that you’re committed to your new career path. You should also consider how the skills from your previous career will carry over to the new one. Presenting yourself as someone who has the proper skills and is passionate about the job can make a big difference in the success of your job search.

Knowing how to change careers can improve your chances of finding a job that truly fulfills you. If you take the time to do it right, you just may end up with a career you love.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online degree programs and career services to help you find the right job for you. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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