10 ways to prepare for a future career change

Are you a parent planning to make a career change once your child reaches school age? Or maybe you want to try something new when your current contract comes to an end?

If so, you know that a change is coming but should not wait until that time to start investing in your future.

There are many ways to prepare yourself for your planned career switch. Embracing the best ideas will enable you to enjoy a far smoother transition when that time comes. Here are 10 top tips to put your new career in a stronger position, even before you’ve started.

1) Invest in your health and appearance

Regardless of your career choices, you cannot give the best version of your work unless you are able to give the best version of yourself. Whether you like it or not, investing in your looks and general wellness will provide a far stronger foundation to build upon.

Appearances will influence how people react to you, including employers, colleagues, and clients. So, finding the best hairstyle and beauty routines ahead of entering the job marketplace will aid your cause. Not least because it should boost your self-confidence.

Meanwhile, becoming healthier can boost your alertness, energy levels, and general performance levels. Embrace winning habits like staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep before taking them into your new career. It’ll aid your personal life too. Perfect.

2) Fill in the gaps of your education

Education is the key to unlocking new career opportunities. Before thinking about the industry-specific skills that will be needed to thrive, you must ensure that you have a strong base to work from. Otherwise, shortcomings could prevent you from landing a dream role.

Maths and English are two subjects that can support virtually any job. Finding online GCSE English tutors will enable you to develop your skills and gain the necessary qualifications. Following this, you can apply for more jobs with the confidence that you won’t be held back.

In addition to courses that are focused on the education you should have gained from school, you can think about generic skills. Body language and communication courses will serve you well once the time to apply for a new job arrives. The sooner you start, the better.

3) Prepare for the job you want

A strong education provides a platform for success. However, if you know that you will be entering a particular industry, you should prepare for this. This will give you a far better shot at gaining employment in this new field. It could help you start higher up the ladder too.

Some careers may require a degree. Others can benefit from vocational courses. Either way, distance learning can enable you to run your studies alongside your existing commitments. The knowledge that you are actively preparing for a new career will keep you motivated.

A combination of new skills for business and education in your desired field will be telling. It’ll make you an attractive prospect while also increasing your confidence. Aside from helping you gain the desired position, you should settle into the role very quickly.

4) Think about the application process

When the time comes to start applying for new jobs, it will be essential for you to create a great first impression. Standing out from the crowd is a particularly important ingredient in the recipe for success. Not least because most positions attract hundreds of applicants.

Creating a video resume is perhaps one of the most interesting ways to engage potential employers. For starters they will retain 95% of the info compared to 10% of written resumes. Of course, any written content that can support the application should be used too.

Cover letters are another vital factor. While you can use a template for the main body, you should tailor each position applied for. This allows you to present yourself as the candidate that they want rather than just a good worker.

5) Look for ways to dip your toes into the water

You may not be ready to start working full-time in a new job just yet due to other commitments. Still, any opportunity to gain insight and experience should be grabbed with both hands. For starters, it’ll let you confirm that this is the career you want.

Furthermore, it helps you stand out from the crowd when applying for future roles. In fact, the contacts you make may even lead to employment when you’re ready. Internships and work experience are key factors, even when they are short-term positions.

Failure to do this could leave you fighting an uphill battle once the time for a new career surfaces. Similarly, the fact that you’ll feel familiar with many of the fundamentals will make onboarding into a new career feel a whole lot easier.

6) Consider your future working requirements

Depending on the nature of your proposed career change, you may need a host of tools to thrive. For example, if you are planning to work in medical care or another job with some unsociable shifts, you will need a car. Otherwise, getting to work could become impossible.

Alternatively, if your job will include remote working, you will need a suitable home office. Without the dedicated space for work, you will see your productivity levels fade. Likewise, you will find it hard to separate your work and life balance.

It doesn’t matter whether the preparations are big or small. You have ample time to start planning so that you can hit the ground running once you start the new job. Frankly, you don’t only owe it to your future employer. More importantly, you owe it to yourself.

7) Surround yourself with the right people

Networking will always bring advantages to your career. However, business circles aren’t the only major influence. In truth, the people you surround yourself with in recreational settings will be equally crucial. Sadly, the wrong ones could stop you from ever making the switch.

It isn’t uncommon for friends to be secretly jealous or willing to sabotage your aspirations so that they feel superior to you. Therefore, breaking free from these people and individuals who lead you to poor decisions can be one of the smartest decisions you ever make.

Conversely, positive people will support you on the journey ahead. It gives you an added impetus and keeps you focused on your goals. This covers your early preparations aimed at getting a head start as well as the work completed when you commence employment.

8) Develop skills that can enhance long-term prospects

When thinking about a new career in a new industry, your main goals focus on the short-term future. In reality, long-term prospects are equally significant in your decision to change careers. Putting in the work today will help you create a far brighter tomorrow.

If you have a basic grasp of a second language, it could be wise to build on this. After all, international interactions are an increasingly common part of modern business. A better understanding of cloud computing and other tech developments can be vital too.

In the modern era, it is also advised that you learn a little more about cybersecurity and threats. When an employer sees that you are not a potential source of vulnerability, it will aid your cause. As these issues continue to grow in importance, your efforts will be rewarded.

9) Save some money

It’s likely that the promise of increased earnings is one of the main reasons for launching a new career. Nevertheless, you may need to make short-term sacrifices before reaping the long-term rewards. With this in mind, it’s advised to save some money in advance. 

When you do, there is far less pressure on your shoulders at the start of your new career. Getting your finances under control with money management apps will serve you well. Trimming the fat from household bills helps too. It’ll also aid your personal life.

Money isn’t the most important thing in this life but it is one of the key features of a successful career. If you don’t get this issue under control, the opportunity to make the intended change may never arrive. Frankly, that would be a disaster.

10) Determine whether you want to be an employee

Having your eyes set on working in a new industry is one thing, but you must tackle the process in the right way. Working as an employee or contractor are the common paths. For some, though, launching a business is the better option.

Parents, for example, may find that starting a side hustle is the perfect way to go. It’s a good way to test the waters before making the switch later on. Given that you weren’t planning to start the career just yet, any revenue can be viewed as a bonus.

There is no single right or wrong solution. Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of all pathways in relation to your situation. Once you do, though, you’ll know that you’ve made the right choice and can put your full effort into achieving your goals.

Photo by Claire Chang