Estimated reading time: 5 mins
A Guest Post by William Grigsby
Before you consider your big career change, think about the reasons why. Many people want a big career change because they are working in an unsuitable environment, and/or because they are working with somebody they do not like. If you have ever felt like moving far away, then that is another sign that something in your life is unsettling you, and it is better to deal with the problem head on rather than moving away or taking up a new career. Your desire for a big career change may be a knee-jerk reaction to a lingering problem. Are you sure you are doing the right thing? Maybe you should find some motivation? Consider this before you act on any career-change advice. You will make a happier and more informed choice.
Try It In Your Spare Time
Just like when you start a business, you should start out in your spare time and work your way towards creating a sustainable income. There are two reasons why you should try your new career in your spare time. The first is to see if you can make a livable income from your new career, and the second is to give it a go for a while. Many “dream” jobs are not as dreamy as you may first think. Some people like the idea of working from home as a writer, but writers are very low paid, they live a very solitary life, they are prone to addiction, and they often have to search for new clients. Try it in your spare time and see if you still like it when the newness and the novelty has worn off.
Start Catching Up Before You Start
If you are starting a new career, then you have a lot of catching up to do, so you need to start right away. This probably includes going to classes and/or getting new qualifications, but it most certainly means you need to start practicing and learning right away. On the plus side, there are people who have been employed for years and are still pretty crappy. For example, photographers are notoriously bad at their job, even if they have a large portfolio and appear to know what they are doing. The fact is that most photographers are terrible, which means that being “above average” is difficult, but doesn’t take a massive amount of time due to the low quality of your competition.
Online Classified Ads And Recruitment Agencies
Most online articles are going to tell you that classified adverts and recruitment agencies are a terrible place to start if you wish to make a big career change, but you may be surprised at what you find. In many cases, the jobs that are frequently advertised are actually the easiest to get because the employers are clearly having trouble finding somebody suitable for the role. In addition, some recruitment agencies receive very odd requests that may fall into the realm in which you wish to work.
Grow Your Job-Hunting Skills & Don’t Rely On Conventional Advice
To make a career change, you first need a career, and your career took time and effort to build. You are probably not an expert at finding and securing new jobs, so one of your main objectives is to become better at getting jobs.
Do not rely on what some consider to be conventional advice. For example, the whole “One-Page CV” should only be used for minimum wage jobs. If you are looking for a career, then there are many ways you can sell your services to an employer, from a large online booklet that represents your experience, to a CV with an attached video file in which you describe why are perfect for the job.
Save Up Some Money To Use As A Contingency Fund
Money is always a concern, especially if you are starting something completely new where you have to start from the bottom. It is a good idea to have a safety net, and it is a bad idea if you are looking to cover any deficits with credit cards. Starting a new career with a low wage is quite common, and it is quite common for new starters to stay on a low wage for a long while.
Before you start your new career, you need to figure out how much money you need to pay your bills and run your house for a full month. Take that amount and multiply it by three. Before you start your new career, you need that amount of money saved. That amount of money is now your contingency fund, and it is only to be used on occasions where your starter wage doesn’t cover your monthly bills.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Until You Start Your New Job
It is old advice, but still relevant. The sheer number of people who decide to change their career and then quit their current job is unnaturally high. People see motivational videos on YouTube, or success stories on Facebook, and they quit their job so that they may pursue their dream career. It is a dumb idea; you should only quit your current job when you have your new job lined up.
Some people will tell you that quitting your current job will motivate you to search out your dream job, but motivation isn’t your problem. There may be no positions open near you right now, or you may be woefully under-qualified. When you have a start date for your new job, you may hand in your notice to your current job.
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William Grigsby is a HR expert.
His passion is to show that each person is unique and can independently achieve success by applying efforts every day.
William was writing in this space for 2 successful years.
Feel free to follow him on Twitter @willgrgsb