So, You’re Ready for a Change?
The thought of beginning a career change can be incredibly overwhelming, leaving some stuck in the research phase for years. Here are 6 tips for taking action and moving forward when you are ready for a change.
This article on “Ready For A Change” is part of a series developed by Curriculum Design to guide students through the Flatiron School program experience.
People change careers at all stages of their career journey for a range of reasons, from wanting a more flexible schedule and the ability to work from anywhere to craving new challenges and more fulfillment.
Preparing for change requires deliberate effort and can be daunting, but the payoff has the potential to be life-changing.
You’ve probably had many ideas about what you’d like to do next. But no matter the direction you’re considering transitioning into, it’s important to plan carefully. That’s why we’ve put together six key elements that will help you in the journey of choosing your change.
Ready for a change? Great, let’s take a look at how you’ll do it.
Take The Initiative
When you’re ready for a change, you’ve probably had many ideas about what you’d like to do next, but now’s the time to narrow it down and make a decision to move forward. It all starts with your need or desire and may include help from others or be propelled entirely from within.
The most important first step to take, however, is moving from the research stage to the action stage. Pick one thing and go for it!
Seek And Decide
Want to advance your skills in an area you’re not proficient in? Try something brand new that’s always been an interest? Decide what you want to learn, and look around for how you could go about acquiring the skill. There are likely learning courses, one-off classes, or activities based on what you wish to learn or study.
⭐ Tip: Don’t limit yourself. Approaching this part of the process with curiosity, rather than looking for an absolutely perfect next step, will set you up for success.
Write A Plan Of Action
Set goals for yourself. And not, “Goal number one: set some goals”.
Create a learning outcome for the course of study you are choosing and use your learning to reach that goal. Let your exploration take you in various directions. It could be something as simple as “watch an intro YouTube video” or “complete a self-learning course in 30 days”.
Your short-term learning goals should be specific, with a definite deadline, and written down. Above all, make your deadlines realistic. Give yourself more time than you think you need.
⭐ Tip: While you’re working on short-term goals, keep your long-term goals in sight at all times – frame them and put them on your wall. This will remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing and what you’re ultimately aiming for.
Use Your Network
If you’re feeling stuck or not sure what skills you need to acquire in order to pursue a desired profession, finding a mentor in your intended field can provide an invaluable resource and support.
Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s? This is where your time spent networking can help you.
LinkedIn connections, your alumni network, your favorite uncle, or your alumni network could come to great use.
⭐ Tip:** Do it with others, not alone.
Make A Decision
Decide on your next step. Then decide how you learn best. It could be an audiobook, YouTube University, a series of meetings with a professional, or an online course that you complete over the next five months. This is where knowing your long-term goals will be your guide. Know what you want. Go after it.
This can take many forms, especially in the age of the internet, so take some time to look around. But ultimately, push forward. Don’t get stuck in the research stage – take action! And try not to worry about taking the “wrong” path, you can always choose again.
⭐ “…it’s like you’re standing in a forest and you have a number of tracks in front of you. But you’re paralyzed because you don’t want to make a mistake. And the challenge is: if you don’t take any of the paths, you’re never going to get out of the forest. If you take one of them, it may not be the right track initially, but you can course-correct.”
As you step into different worlds, sparking ideas and learning as you go, remember to revisit your goals with critical reflection— what’s working, and what can change? Remember why you wanted to change in the first place. Plan some time to alter your route if needed. Your goal is forward movement (alternate routes welcomed). Remember – it’s an expedition, not a day trip.
- Pursuing a new industry can be daunting, but planning carefully will keep you moving toward your goals when you’re ready for a change.
- Key elements to keep in mind as you choose your change: set goals for yourself, find a mentor in your new field, make your next step, and know what you want, go after it.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of December 20, 2022. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.