This is a contributor’s blogpost …
We go through life being bombarded with questions about what we want to be when we grow up. From the moment that we start school and start taking an interest in more than just crayons, we get conditioned to start thinking about what to do for the rest of our lives. It’s quite a big question for a school-age child, isn’t it? When you think about it, asking someone who has to get permission to leave a classroom to make a decision as big as what they want to do for the remainder of their life, it’s a big choice to make. What if you get to college and realise you have not made the right decision? What if you graduate from college, and realise that you hate the type of job you have that suits your degree? What if you can’t afford college at all and have to take a career that’s different from what you’ve dreamed of your whole life?
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These questions crop up all the time. It’s one of the harsh realities of life and it’s these that get answered when you feel like it’s all ‘too late’ to make a change. It’s when you wish that you can turn back time and do it all differently. It’s important to remember, though, that it is never too late to change your mind on your career. So, what if you became a qualified accountant? Does that mean you can’t take classes in acting coaching and learn to do another craft? Of course not! You can do whatever you want with your life, whenever you choose to do it. Age is but a number and doesn’t dictate when you should study and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later on. You get one life, and you should live it doing something you love. So, how can you go about successfully changing your career into one you have always dreamed about?
Realise that you do not only have one shot. Most people get to eighteen and start filling out college applications based on what their parents want them to do. This is due to the fact that most eighteen-year-olds have no clue what to do with their lives. There’s nothing stopping you from changing your mind later on, but college at eighteen isn’t your only chance to decide on your life. If you get through college and realise later on that you hate your job, look at the things you could do instead. Narrow down a few roles and work on ways you can get to the field you want. There are always transferable skills and a path to go down.
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Work slowly toward your career choices. If you try to make a radical change too fast, you could find yourself without a steady income and failing in what you want to do. Do you need extra qualifications to move into the field you truly want to do? If so, try taking night classes or classes online so you can keep your current and steady income while you learn. Don’t just drop your job in the pursuit of happiness, as all that will happen is running up debt and finding yourself without a place to sleep! Take your time, so that you can smoothly and seamlessly move into what you truly want to do with your life.
Try not to ‘job hop’. Your resume should be short and sweet, even if you are in the wrong career. Staying steady in the job you currently have while you wait for the opportunity to move into the right job is important. Employers will see a busy resume as one that is fickle. Even if you have had many temp roles, you don’t have to add every single detail to the job roles on your resume. Leave something to the imagination and when you do change career, make a note on your resume that you took time out to change your career. Make a point of including your reasons for the change in your covering letter for a new job, and make sure your new employer knows you’re the type of person who would rather start from the bottom in something they are passionate about, rather than someone who is changing their mind on a whim.
Believe your career can change. The best thing you can do for yourself is ensure that you are stable, and doing this will set up your future in ways you never thought possible.