Do’s and Don’ts for Making a Big Career Move

It’s time to make a change.  You’re ready to take the next step, but first you want to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.  Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help you handle this transition in a way that will have a positive impact on your career:

Do a lot of research.  A career change is a big deal and it’s not a decision that you can afford to take lightly.  Before pursuing a particular career, you need to know whether or not there is a demand for the job, what the requirements and responsibilities would be, and what you would be doing on a daily basis.  You don’t want to be making another career change in a year or two because you didn’t do your research.

Don’t let your fears limit you.  We are all limited by our self-confidence.  When you see your dream job, do you believe that it is within your reach?  You are probably capable of far more than you think you are.  Get out of your own way and allow yourself to achieve your dreams.

Do pay attention to your interests and values.  When choosing a career, you want to find one that you would actually like.  Look at the responsibilities of the job.  Is it something that interests you?  Would you enjoy doing it day after day?  Does it fit with your lifestyle?  Would it allow you to live in a way that is consistent with your values?  If you consider your values and interests, you are far more likely to choose a career that will make you happy.

Do consult your network.  Your network is an excellent resource when you’re contemplating a career change.  Your contacts can let you know about different careers and open positions.  Talk to the people in your network and let them know that you are considering a career change and be open to their feedback.  They might be able to connect you with an amazing opportunity.

Don’t burn bridges.  If you’re not happy in your current job, you might be tempted to just cut your losses and move on.  Be very careful about how you handle this situation.  The world can be painfully small sometimes and you never know when you might need a reference.

Transitions can be both scary and exciting.  It could be amazing, but you are venturing out into new territory and you don’t really know what to expect.  Be confident, be professional, do your homework and you will be on the road to success.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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