Imagine this: You are an established professional in the industry and one day you discover that you have taken a wrong turn. It is worse if you are a student and haven’t stepped out of the campus.
Have you discovered your potential recently? May be you found that the education you have undergone had nothing to do with your passion – yes, the burning passion that doesn’t let you sleep! Was it mere peer pressure that made you go through your last educational qualification? Or did the new career stood out of the blue, one fine morning?
Often it happens that the professional education we all undergo is not our own finding. Many opt for a professional certification or major because it is the current trend, forgetting that trends tend to change.
Although it may seem frightening at first, you are not the first one to do so. Many first generation entrepreneurs and ‘good’ employees have stumbled across their new career quite unexpectedly.
If you are going for a planned change, the transition may seem safe.
Understanding your new career
Today we spend most of our time at our workplaces. In this scenario it helps to spend some time understanding the voyage you are to set about.
If the ‘new’ career is from a totally different domain, for instance: a science student venturing into an arts profession, adequate knowledge of the domain fundamentals is necessary. Basically, every career involves these two things: a sound knowledge of the career-specific basics and providing solutions using these basics.
Learning the basics afresh involves investing your greatest resource: time. Of course, money and other tangible resources are involved.
The best and free advice is on the internet. It may not always work. If you have the time to research and seek it out yourself that’s really the best thing one can do. When there’s no time to invest it is wise to play safe. Use the ready-to-use resources: the short term courses, attend seminars, post graduate diplomas and so on.
The best way is to communicate with those already working in your dream career. Social media can be of great help. “Why talk to people when I can download ‘101 Ways to be a Great…’ for free?” Choosing a career involves more than information: live, practical advice which arrives only through experience.
Watch out for
Let us not hide under the cloak of ‘positivity’ and ‘I can do it’ attitude. Every career change involves uncertainty. The major factors are monetary (what if I don’t earn enough?) and emotional (the fear of being mocked at).
Plan your career change precisely. Let’s see how to walk on the ice.
Monetary uncertainty: Save and allocate funds to pay for the bills and daily bread. Look out for the money thieves: where spending can be cut out.
Emotional uncertainty: Have a conversation with the elders and dependents on you. A sudden transition can come as a shock to them too. The ambience in your house can be affected by this seemingly small decision. You can get unexpected inputs from them. If they are scared of this transition give them some time to see its potential. Explain how the change can benefit every member of the family.
Even seemingly ‘safe’ and ‘established’ careers involve risk which often goes unnoticed. A well planned career change is definitely manageable.
PS: The author has undergone this amazing experience.