In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

– Theodore Roosevelt

You’re home. You’re sipping your 3rd cup of coffee for the day. You are seated in front of your computer but looking outside your window wondering how long is this going to go on.

It’s another day at work, just in a different place. It’s another day spent thinking  many thoughts , one of them contemplating should you make a career change. In reality, you have been thinking about this for months now, even before COVID-19.

A lot of thoughts are running in your mind. It sometimes feels like your mind is a battlefield between your logical mind and your emotional mind.

“What if I try and succeed?” “What if I try and fail?” “Can I still make the same amount of money”?” Will I have to start completely over?” It’s one “what if” scenario after another.

Bottom line is: You really won’t know unless you try.

A career change is totally possible – as long as you equip yourself with the much-needed preparation and strategy. Here are 5 things to think about as you contemplate changing careers:

1.    Truly think about your motivation.

The first step is to ask yourself “What do I want? Why am I unhappy now?

Are you changing careers out of boredom? Or is it because you want to feel more alive and do something that’s meaningful? Are you doing this because you’re frustrated with your current boss? Or is it because you want to be able to find a job that you feel passionate about?

Whatever you reason may be, remember to take your time in reflecting about it. Don’t rush because this decision can change your life. Let a clear “why” be your driving force in taking the leap of faith and pursuing the unknown.

2.    Decide which matters the most

A career change may feel a bit daunting and intimidating. Some people think that this might mean starting from the bottom and learning new skills from scratch. Sure, you may have to go through trainings and courses to brush up your capabilities for the new role but consider those as exciting opportunities that will allow you to get into that dream career you’ve always wanted to have. Or do you want to stay in your current role with no advancement and continuous learning?

3.    Use your strengths to your advantage

The workforce is extremely competitive, so it is important you are clear about the value you bring, and you can articulate it well. Take some time now to reflect on some of your biggest career achievements so far. Highlight your accomplishments by listing down your most significant business results you have helped your companies achieve. These will be the areas you will want to leverage as you prospect with new employers and communicate how you can help them.

4.    Be financially prepared.

As you are researching possible career options, take a look at potential salaries and latest in benefit offerings. It is a good idea to think about your current finances and prepare for any unexpected delays or gaps as you transition careers. Also, there may be items you need to invest in to help you in your new job search process. Especially if you have not interviewed in 10 years….a new suit may be calling for you!

5.    Get a career coach

Changing careers is possible but it is an investment in your future and should be done strategically. Investing in a trusted expert to help you with this process will be invaluable for you. Career coaches are trained to get to the end goal faster without the unintended mistakes many job seekers make. Also, changing careers is an emotional journey as well and a trusted partner with you in the trenches will be welcomed during the uncertain time.

These are a few of the critical things to guide you on your journey to finding your dream career.

It’s never too late. With confidence, preparation and a strategy – a career change is totally possible.

As cliché as it may sound, your mission should be to find a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Are you ready to begin? If so, please contact me today and we will get you started.

Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.

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