How to Successfully Transition to a Higher Paying Career
Author Linda Gimmeson
Oh that dreaded rut; at one point in all of our lives, we tend to get a bit stuck, wedged in the daily monotony that is work, relationships or life goals. Whether you’re 25 or 55, your job does not have to be the rut that you’ve fallen into.
If you would like to retire, with money in the bank, it may be time to choose a career that offers you a larger paycheck, with a thicker benefit’s package. The transition from one job to another, even from one career to another, can seem difficult, or nearly impossible, but it’s not. In this article, we’ll offer a few tips on how to make the employment evolution a bit less tricky:
** In a study by the American Institute of Economic Research, research showed that those who are able to make the transition from one career to another in less than a year are more successful in doing so. Keep that in mind while reading these tips. **
We suggest taking a hard look at your finances to see if the transition can be made with the least amount of sacrifice. Yes, if you are switching from a job that you’ve been unhappy in for years to your dream job, it’s okay to take a pay cut if you know for sure that you can rise in the ranks in a few years and make up the difference.
If you know that a pay cut is in your future, then start cutting back now. Little by little, the seemingly large sacrifices will become small and you’ll be prepared to successfully live with less.
Take Some Time
If you are able to, take some time off of work. Whether it’s a three-month sabbatical or a three-day staycation, try to just figure things out for you. If you have an opportunity to take a longer break from work, you could begin to get serious brainstorming sessions in, and even take action on some major decisions.
Evaluate your Skills
If you’re planning to switch careers, you may need to acquire a new set of skills. If you’ve had a job in sales your whole life, but want to become a nurse, well, you’ve got some work ahead of you.
Look at your current resume and evaluate the skills you believe that you have. If you already know the career jump you want to take, do the research on exactly what skills are required and write those down as well. Now you know what skills you currently possess, and what you will need to work on to reach your goals. Your prevailing set of skills should not be cast aside, however. We suggest choosing a new career where you can also use your current skills, which have taken a lifetime to acquire.
Go Back to School
After evaluating your skills, and doing some deep research into your desired career, it’s more than likely that you’ll need to add some new skills to your repertoire. This doesn’t mean that you need to go back to a four-year institution or grad school to obtain these. Online programs (such as medical billing and coding training online) and technical and community colleges are great options. Note: depending on the certificate you are gunning for, this step may take you more than a year, so make sure that it what you need to do in order to be financially successful in your next career.
Ask for Help
In an Ivy Exec article, author Elaine Pofeldt said, “Talking with contacts who are already pursuing your target career is good way to alleviate worries that you won’t be able to navigate your transition successfully.”
There is never a better time to network than when you’re thinking of changing careers. Friends, college connections and old colleagues are all great contacts to ask advice from. If the contacts happen to work in a field that you’re interested in, ask to be looped in on any job openings in the company.
The transition from one career to the next is going to be difficult, but when you are happier, have more money in the bank and know that your future is secure, all of that sacrifice, research and those 10 pounds you gained from stress eating, will all be worth it.