Shifting careers at the peak of adulthood is not an uncommon occurrence. Some people may know what they want at an early age and continue pursuing that path for the rest of their lives. Others, however, start becoming unsure of the professions they chose and would want to venture out into other career options.

If you’re one of the latter, you’re not alone. A survey shows that only 14% of workers in the U.S. think they have the perfect job. And shockingly, more than half of workers want to change careers.

But only a few dare to dive into a new path. We can’t blame those who don’t. It’s a scary thing to do, after all. Imagine spending half of your life in one career, only to realize you want to try out something completely new and unfamiliar.

We know how that feels. But it’s never too late to try something new. If you’re unhappy with the career path you’re in and wish to pursue another profession, you can. All you need to do is prepare for it. Here’s how.

Know your “why.”

You might want to change careers because the one you’re in now is too challenging or stressful. You might be thinking it just isn’t for you. But have you stopped to think of your “why?” Ask yourself the reasons you want to make that big career change. Is it your career or just your workplace?

Most employees become unsatisfied with their professions, not because they don’t like it per se. But it can be due to their work environment and other factors. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the career path you initially chose just because of a bad work environment.

Spend some time to think about it and determine what’s causing you to be unhappy. If it’s only your workplace, then find a more suitable environment to work in.

Research

If your “why” really revolves around you being unhappy with your line of work, then it’s time for you to make a change. If you already have your dream profession in mind, do some research about it first.

Find out what skills will help you excel in that career, or what experience you need to have in your arsenal. Some professions might need additional years of education or training. Doing your research will help you make the shift seamlessly.

Build your skills

Determine what skills you have and what you need for your new career. You might already have those that will deem helpful for your new profession. For example, you’re jumping from being a reporter to franchising a fast food restaurant. In that case, time management skills and the ability to work under pressure are already your key strengths.

Find out what skills you still need to work on and focus on skill-building. Before jumping into your new career, you have to gain knowledge and experience to excel in the field.

Secure yourself financially

Handsome man working from his home office

Shifting to a new career can’t happen overnight. It’s a process that can take up to months or even years to conceptualize. That’s why you have to make sure you’re financially prepared for it.

Ideally, you need to have up to 12 months of resources saved up. Just in case things don’t go according to plan, at least you have a safety net. Always prepare for the worse. That way, you won’t find yourself trapped or unable to pursue your dreams because of financial instability.

Making a career shift is a scary yet exciting experience. It’s never too late to pursue what you desire. Just make sure you’re prepared for it.

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