Try to remember back when you started your career.
Maybe you were a young technology graduate and jobs in IT were plentiful. Did you even have several job offers? It was an exciting time and you were probably a bit nervous too. A career in the real world meant money and acknowledgment of your educational achievements.
Now that you’ve been progressing through your career for several years you’re starting to realize you’d like to take your career in a different direction, perhaps management or consulting.
You feel nervous and excited again. So how can you go about changing your career goals and make your dreams become reality?
Changing Your Career Goals
In life and career, change is inevitable.
Some welcome change more readily than others, but with change you’ll always experience some degree of discomfort. The following steps can help you overcome your fear of change by helping you create a plan:
Step 1: Evaluate
When changing your career goals you must ask yourself many questions including:
- “Why do I want to make this change?”
- “What do I expect to gain from this change?”
- “How will my life and career be improved by this change?”
Being honest with yourself to find out both why you are seeking change and what you want to gain from it is very important.
Step 2: Investigate
A change in career may require several steps.
- Is additional education needed?
- Are certain achievements in your current job necessary?
- Will you need to access money to start up your own business?
- Will you need to relocate?
- Are you poised for success through networks you’ve already developed?
These are just a few thoughts that a career-changer may find themselves faced with. With risk and change come great opportunities, but those who are successful don’t leave everything to chance. Learn what it takes to achieve your goals.
Step 3: Formulate
Once you’ve evaluated your reasons and investigated your direction, it’s time to formulate how to change your career.
Write out your goals and follow up with a list of your obstacles. Don’t think of obstacles as a negative thing because obstacles are actually neutral objects – they just happen to exist. You are the positive or negative force that knocks them over, finds paths around them, or stops in front of them. Once you’ve identified your obstacles you have the power to find solutions. Solutions will require you to take action steps. Some will be simple, others may take several years.
The cool thing is you’ve got your answer right there in front of you! It may not be easy – but changing your career and changing your life is possible and can be very rewarding.
Step 4: Review and Re-evaluate
We all know that life is unpredictable.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a plan. In order to manage your career direction, you’ll need to revisit your plan often. As new obstacles appear, you’ll need to find new solutions and there will be new actions to take. When you feel lost or confused, return to Step 1 and see how your answers have changed.
Knowing yourself and your goals is the answer to a successful career and more importantly, a happy life. Take the time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. No one deserves your time more than you!
Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for Techcareers.com, a Beyond.com career community. You can follow her on Twitter at BeyondCareers.