Changing your career can be a challenge, but if it has to be done because you are not happy with your current job, then it’s best to take the proper precautions. There are certain things you have to consider or plan for prior to making a life-altering decision such as a change in career.
Here are five ways to prepare before making a career change.
1. Get a good recommendation letter from your current employer.
The first thing you want to ensure is that you are in good standing with your current employer so that you don’t burn any bridges. This is important because, like most careers, they come to an end, and in the end, you’re going to need a recommendation letter from your employer, supervisor, or coworkers. This personal reference letter will include contact information, strengths, and even references to specific examples of times when you excelled at your current job.
They can explain why you’d be a good fit for a new job as well as advocate for you for the new role. It’s always a good idea to ask for a letter of recommendation from someone you trust and who has a good reputation in the company as well. Your possible new employer’s hiring manager can contact your reference person if they have any further questions regarding your skills and aptitudes.
2. Establish an emergency savings plan for worst-case scenarios.
When making a transformative move such as a career change, you’re going to want to ensure your finances are in good standing prior to leaving your old job. This can mean ensuring your savings are secured, your emergency net is funded, and your debt is handled wisely. The reason you’ll need to have a good financial situation is that the new employer can conclude they didn’t want to hire you on second thought and decide to let you go a couple of days into your new job.
This can happen because they found a better applicant with every qualification they were looking for, or because they felt insecure hiring you in the first place. Sudden hesitation like this can be a terrible situation to be in, but if you have a hefty amount of savings for six months or more of expenses, then you’ll be more prepared than the next guy to make the career transition.
3. Educate yourself in your new field to land a job.
Your new field will most likely require new skills from you. So, if you know this will be the case, then you have to prepare yourself. You can do so by going to school again to earn a different degree or enrolling in a program that provides you with the necessary tools to learn the attributes of the new job. For instance, if you were an engineer and you wanted to change your career to a biologist to help rescue and rehabilitate injured animals, then you may have to go back to college and get a bachelor’s degree in biology.
4. Have another job aligned prior to quitting your current one.
Moreover, you will want to interview and land another job before quitting your current one. This is for monetary reasons as well. You don’t want to stay stranded with no job, no income, and no way forward. Sometimes, this works out for some people, but if you have a family and children, you may not be able to consider this option.
5. Consider if you have to relocate, and plan for it.
Lastly, you may have to plan in case your new job requires you to relocate. If this is the case, then you have to calculate relocation costs, search for new housing, and possibly purchase a new car if you can’t transfer your current one or if you don’t own one with your current situation.
These are some of the most popular things you can plan for when changing your career. Always remember to think about your goals, future, family, and happiness when making such a metamorphic decision.