Starting a new career, no matter your age or background, can be scary. To make the transition successful, take the time to research and plan out your career change. No matter your age it is never too late to start a new career; take the chance to be happy and passionate about what you do!
The first step is all about brainstorming. This may include writing what career success means to you. Does it include a work-life balance, job security, high paying, making a difference, or working with people? Write down what you like about your current career and what you don’t like; this will help determine if a lateral career move would be helpful or if a complete career change is what you want.
Now the fun part: brainstorming new career ideas! There are a few different paths you can take in this step. You can be general and write down different industries that interest you or write down specific careers. Maybe the marketing industry with a focus on the digital landscape with a digital marketing certificate or a UX design course. All you know is you want to work with people, but unsure of the industry, a coach certification course or a human resource management certificate will lead you into a person-focused career. Let your imagination run free, do not worry about the skills or education at this point. Throw a curveball in there and write down cybersecurity, a move from a basic IT role to a career in cybersecurity is possible with accredited cybersecurity courses. Let your imagination run free, don’t worry about the skills or education at this point. You can always gain that knowledge in a short career program or continuing education courses at institutions like Ashton College. If you are having trouble with this step, talk with family or friends about your interests and values and see if a specific career or industry aligns with them.
Once you have a list of career options or a list of specific tasks you enjoy in the workplace, now is the step that can get overwhelming. This is where you dive deeper into each career option and learn what training, skills, and certificates are needed. From the above example, to become an education assistant, you need to take an education assistant program to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective in real-life educational settings. Other things requirements to work in school are a clear criminal check and to pass a TB test. During this step, keep an open mind and don’t let the possibility of needing a diploma or certificate scare you away. It is all attainable.
Start With Small Steps
At this point, a big leap is not necessary. Start with something small and attainable. If working in the human services industry was on your list, think if you know anyone who works in the mental health and addictions field or is a certified life coach. Learn what kind of training and certificates they have and about the day-to-day life in that job. People who love their jobs love to talk about them.
If you don’t know anyone, look online for demo classes, find a day in the life blogs, or attend an info session to learn more about a specific career or training course.
Expand Your Skills
After learning about your career options and learning from people in that career, it is time to expand your skills! If you are not ready to take a career-specific training course, a good starting point is to take a digital communication course. This will build your soft skills in the digital workspace and be helpful no matter what career path you choose.
Let’s look back at what career success was to you. If you wrote down job security or high in-demand job, an accounting program or nursing unit clerk program can help you achieve career success. If you wrote down working with people or making a difference in their daily lives, maybe a support worker certificate or a legal assistant course will help you find that fulfilling career choice.
Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
No matter the path you decide to take in your career change, set short-term and long-term goals to make the process less overwhelming and acknowledge the hard work you have put into this journey.