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Steps Toward Making a Successful Career Change
Friday, November 09, 2012

That feeling you get when your life starts to settle down can be very comforting. Things start to fall into place and that provides a sense of security and stability. But after a while that feeling doesn't go up from there and you wonder why.

When things are good we don't dare change them. But things don't always have to be bad in order to make changes. Just like anything else that becomes stagnant, you can easily lose interest in your own life, more specifically, your career.
Change can be somewhat scary because of the uncertainty invovled. But in any case that things can go wrong, they can also go right. People make decisions all the time that change their lives in one aspect or another. As we grow we change, and so do our minds. It's not uncommon for situations such as a restaurant manager working on the business end all their life realizing that they would rather be a chef on the line.

For whatever reason you decide it's time to make a change in your life, there are ways to go about it to make the transition easier. The first step is not so much a step as it is a process. Before making any moves, you need to evaluate your life and goals. Most importantly, think about whether making the change will make sense to you financially.

Often, a change in job duties requires acquiring additional skill sets. To make things easier, consider how the skill sets you already have will benefit you in this new position. Will you have to start from scratch? If so, you might want to think about a position more closely related to your current field which can save you time and money.
If schooling proves not to be the right way to go, find other opportunities that will give you more experience. Things like volunteer work or internships (yes, internships) can give you a leg up in getting your new start. Experience doesn't necessarily make up for the skills you would have gained in the classroom but it's definitely the next best thing.
In the restaurant manager turned chef example, enough experience of working in the kitchen might qualify him for the position. Contrary to popular belief, internships are not only for students. The reason they are typically filled by students is that the employer can compensate them with college credit instead of money. There are paid internships, however, you just have to look harder to find them.

Don't be afraid to seek help. Consulting a second, third, or fourth opinion from people who have made their own career changes will offer a lot of insight for your own plan. You may grapple with some doubts which may be frustrating or discouraging. If this change is truly something you want, just keep in mind the old adage, "change is good."