Four Simple Steps to Help You Transition to a Different Career
Transitioning to a different career is a major decision that you need to think over and over again. More than anything, you need to know that your motives are firm and that your heart is in the right place. Now, if you know that this is what will make you feel fulfilled, then, by all means, let go of your inhibitions. But, it’s better to do it gradually. Carefully think about your next plan of actions.
Here are some useful strategies to help you get started on a new field without quitting your day job yet:
1. Get schooled
Mere interest in a specific field won’t get you your dream job. You may acquire technical skills and knowledge elsewhere, but there really is no better way than having an educational background. A lot of institutions are offering short courses and programs in specific fields. For instance, if your dream is to be in the hair and makeup industry, why not consider enrolling in a barber school in Utah first? These schools usually offer a lot of flexibility, so you can still go on with your day job to pay the bills. Lori Eggleston Thorp, an educator, explains how a lot of people who go back to school feel anxious and harbor self-doubt, but after a while, being in the company of like-minded individuals and teachers who want them to succeed make the experience worthwhile.
2. Look for a mentor
Sure, an experience is the best teacher. But if you cannot apply what you learned yet, the best teacher is usually that — the best teacher. Find a mentor that embodies the person that you aspire to be. Ideally, this person is someone respected in the field not just because of talent but also because of work ethics. Learn from him and don’t be afraid to seek advice, tips, and help.
3. Build your portfolio
It’s difficult to get to that point wherein you get paid for doing what you love. So before you work on getting there, focus on building your portfolio first, and the money will come later. For instance, if you are a makeup artists, offer your services to friends for free. If you are a graphic artist, choose smaller businesses as clients and give them cheaper rates. Do your best work and compile them into an impressive portfolio.
4. Expand your network
Next to “what you know” and “who you know” is also important. If you are shifting to a different field, get acquainted with people who have the same interest. Join communities that provide opportunities for you to network with the right people. Who knows, these people might help you connect to potential clients or they might be open for a collaboration that will put your name on the map.
If you are intent on shifting to a different career, there is no short cut. You will have to invest time, effort, and money. It will be risky, as with other ways that throw you off your comfort zone, but if you know that you will thrive better in this new career, go ahead and follow your gut.