A recent survey conducted by the University of Phoenix found that nearly 75% of workers in their 30s wanted a career change. That’s one in four people who were discontent enough with their current work situation that they were considering making a drastic life change.
In other words, if you want a new career but are unsure if it’s the right thing to do, just know that you aren’t alone. Kickstarting a new career is never easy, but the results can be richly rewarding. For instance, take this other survey from Canada, which reported that a vast majority (9 out of 10) of people who switched careers reported being happier because of the decision.
If you want to make a positive career change but don't know where to start, read on. In this article, let's cover four ways you can kickstart a new career.
Go Back to School
One of the best ways to prepare for a new career is to head back to school. Especially for those who never completed high school, this is a critical step that can open up more doors and allow access to higher-paying positions. Even for those with high school diplomas, going back to high school to earn specific credits related to your field can be professionally advantageous.
There's good news, as well. Going back to high school doesn't have to be difficult nor time-consuming or embarrassing. With e-learning, you can complete high school courses online that are flexible and supportive. When you enroll in a course, you are given a long time frame to complete it, meaning you can work around your existing job schedule.
Pick Up an Internship
Another fantastic way to kickstart a new career is to pick up an internship. Traditionally, internships were unpaid, but in most North American regions, that has changed. You won't be making the big bucks (at first,) but it's a great stepping stone as you acquaint yourself with new tasks and processes.
You can pick up an internship while you go back to school or start interning after you have completed your courses.
Build an Online Portfolio
If your new career concerns design or content creation (web design, advertising, content writing, etc.) you should start building a portfolio ASAP. Your portfolio can contain previously used work, or it can simply be “spec” content – mock-ups of content that you create for the purposes of demonstration.
Network with Decision Makers in the Industry
Finally, there’s the 21st-century business update of an old saying. "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Network, network, network!" Start meeting people in the industry you are moving to by attending events, fundraisers, and industry seminars. Buy a few coffees for people, pick their brain about the industry, and ask for advice on next steps. Not only are you getting valuable advice, but you’re also making meaningful connections in your new industry.
Here are the salient points, recapped. Many people choose to change careers later in life. The vast majority enjoy their decision. And making the change is easy with online high schools, internships, portfolio-building, and networking. Best of luck!