By Krisha Maclang on July 7, 2015
As the saying goes, it’s never too late to be who you might have been. Unless you specialize in a technical field such as medicine or law, many people end up leaving the field they studied in college. And even then, a lot of doctors and lawyers also decide to shift their career paths if they find it doesn’t suit them.
You don’t have to stay with the job you have now if it leaves you dissatisfied or if you find that there is another field that might be better for you. We’ve already given you tips on how to planning a new career path, but leaving a steady job to venture into the unknown is a different ball game. Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to get started with your career reinvention:
Do your research
This one goes without saying. If you want to break into a certain industry, you have to do a lot of research first. A certain job may seem like a dream job in theory because you can’t see all the work that goes behind it. The last thing you want to do is prematurely leave your current job for something you’re not sure of or might regret later on.
It may seem really fun to put up your own business but are you ready for permits, client management, hiring, and everything else in between? Think a career in advertising seems casual and fun? It can be fun but it also entails a lot of long hours, demanding clients, creative burnouts , etc.
You’ll save yourself a lot of grief and wasted hard work if you do some research into the industry that you want to enter.
Don’t break bank
Let’s start with a very practical fact: you need to save up money to prepare for rainy days.
Shifting career paths doesn’t happen overnight. It takes deliberate thought and action and will take a lot of planning ahead. That said, expect that starting over may not be kind to your wallet. If you’re transitioning to a different industry and you don’t have a job waiting for you right away, you need to plan your finances ahead and save up.
Landing a job in your own industry takes time, so getting one in a different one may take a bit more. If you find that you can’t stay at your job before finding a new one, you need to plan out your expenses and have a strict budget. To be on the safe side, make sure you save up for expenses at least 6 months ahead. Knowing that you’re financially secure will also help boost your confidence because you won’t need to worry about money too much.
Do create a timeline
We've already established that a career shift will take time, so best to plan things out. You have to consider certain adjustments in your life: will you need another degree or maybe do you need to pick up a new skill? Will I quit my job or am I going to stay? It’s important to create a concrete timeline for rolling out your new career plan. Taking too long might psyche you out and you’ll have second thoughts about going through with it.
And since you’re undertaking this change mid-career, it’s even more crucial to stick to your timeline. If you choose to quit your job as you change your career path, a big gap in your resume will look unattractive to companies.
Don’t burn bridges
You may be leaving your job or even your industry altogether but that doesn’t mean you need to burn bridges with the people there. You may not have been totally satisfied with your job, but there’s no need to cut people off completely when you get your fresh start.
If you had fairly good working relationships with the people you worked with, there shouldn’t be any reason to end relationships with them. Even if the job itself (and not the people there) took a toll on your happiness, it’s a good idea not to take it out on them. Remember, the professional world, and the Philippines itself, is a very small place. You never know whose path you will cross.
Your colleagues will also serve as good references for future job applications. Regardless of what industry you enter, your former colleagues serve as good resources for hiring specialists to determine your skills and capabilities. Leave your job on good terms and keep everyone on your team.
Don’t do it alone
Changing your career path all on your own will be difficult. Consult someone who is in the industry that you want to enter so that they can guide you plan your next steps. Ask for AIR: advice, insights, and recommendations.
Ask for their advice on how to best break into the industry or if there are any new skills you need to learn to be eligible for positions. Get personal insights on how the industry’s culture works, the pros and cons of work involved, and other information only someone who’s been in their industry for some time would know. This is crucial since you cannot personally Google search insights into the industry. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations on your next steps for breaking into their industry or for other resources you can consult as you reinvent your career.
Asking for help is crucial because you wouldn’t want to enter your ideal industry with eyes shut. Do your research and ask for all the help you can get.
If you’re thinking of shifting careers but want to know more about other industries first, check out Kalibrr’s other resources on the jobs you can get in different fields: