Forty percent of workers age 54 and older have considered changing jobs because of the opportunities available right now, according to a survey from Resume Builder. If you decide to make a career shift, you will likely need to devote time, effort and resources to seeing it through, says career coach Andy Hillig. But, depending on the changes you want to make, the process may not be as daunting as it appears. Streamline your plan with these five steps.
Assess your skills and values
The first thing you should do is an honest, objective assessment, Hillig advises. He says that means asking yourself, Why do I want to make the change? “Is it something that is more aligned with your personal values? Is it something that's more aligned with your strengths or preferences in terms of what you like to do?”
Once you have found the motivation for the switch, look at the skills and experience you have. Are some of the skills from your current job transferrable? For instance, if you work in human resources in one industry and want to move into the same role in another industry, that's a different level of preparation than if you wanted to become a medical practitioner. “See what kind of alignment there is,” he advises.
Get the help, training and resources you need
Once you have an idea of the skills you're going to need, start planning how you'll get the training and experience necessary to make your move, says Dawn Graham, author of Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success. Graham is also director of career management for the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Management's executive MBA program. A good place to start is with your professional network. Find people who work in the area in which you want to work, and gather information on what you'll need to learn to make the leap.
"Anyone who's hiring wants to know that you're hungry, that you've committed to this career path,” Graham says. For a manager to take a chance on you, you'll likely need to show that you've invested in yourself. “You may need to spend six months to a year really diving into the new industry or function, and that might mean doing a project at work. That might mean getting additional education, that might mean doing some volunteer work or creating a side hustle where you gain this experience."