How to make a bold career switch

Have you been preoccupied by the direction your career is headed lately? Do you feel less than satisfied with your current job? Has fear been holding you back from what you really want to do in life?

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way – especially at this time of year. And while some people choose to let that fear rule and determine their path, ultimately that won’t lead to happiness.

Waiting until all the cards are right and life just lines up perfectly may not be an ideal plan either, as you can risk waiting forever. Sometimes you need to pluck up your courage and make a bold move – and accept the risk (and potential reward) that comes with it.

If you’re ready to take a risk and make a bold career switch, here are some tips will help. They can help to give you direction and motivation, both of which you may need.

It’s time to trust your gut

Arguably the toughest part about making a bold career move is finding the courage to get up and do it.

Fear is very real and if you allow it to dominate you, it will dictate your actions and thoughts – and restrict your choices (and potential). Sometimes you just need to trust your gut. To push layers of doubt and fear to the side, and listen to what your instinct is telling you.

That doesn’t mean you should start taking uncalculated risks and jump without any real plan! You simply need to start tuning into what would make you happy in life, and working out how to make it happen.

Tap into your confidence

This is also a great time to tap into your confidence, because you’ll need to call on it to make bold moves. That doesn’t mean you need to become cocky or arrogant, but you DO need to believe in yourself and what you are capable of. That confidence is what will sell you in job interviews.

If you’re struggling with confidence, you may want to consider investing in a career coach. They’ll help you to identify genuine reasons why you can believe in your skills, experience and potential, and give you strategies to boost your confidence.

Advance your skills

Depending on what the bold career move is that you want to make, it may also be necessary to advance your skills with classes and even qualifications.

You might not need to enroll in full-time classes, but bear in mind that the more prepared you are for that next career, the higher the odds will be that you find a job quickly. 

So look around to see who offers training that will help you plug any skill gap you need. Most courses today offer online study options, making it more realistic to find something that fits your current lifestyle.

Speak to people in your dream career

Usually people have an image in their head of what their dream career would be – and what their average day would look like. And while you may be correct in your assumptions, there is a chance you’re missing some key details.

This is why it can be helpful to speak to people working in the field and get a sense of what a day in their life looks like. Does it fit with your expectations and vision? Is it a job that you really would enjoy? Or is it not quite what you envisaged?

If you want to take it one step further, you could try to secure work experience or even volunteering in the role (or even just in the environment) that you’d like to work in. So you can check you have the right aptitude for it, and that it lives up to your expectations.

It’s important to do as much research like this as you can before making any life-changing decisions or actions. Who knows, you may discover that actually you prefer the job you have now?

Simply exploring what you thought was your dream career may help you to be happy with the one you already have.

Consider whether you need life insurance

No one likes to think about insurance when life is going smoothly. But if you encounter a problem and are out of pocket, then you’ll be very grateful that you took out an insurance policy to protect yourself and your family.

So, if your bold career move will take you in the direction of a riskier career – for example if you want to retrain as a pilot – then it may be worth looking into life insurance. 

There are even life insurance policies that are specifically designed for specific careers, such as these private pilot life insurance options. Thanks to new safety measures, life insurance for pilots of helicopters and private airplanes has become a little less strict.

You can do it!

Life is too short and too precious to waste in a career that you don’t enjoy – especially if an alternative job secretly has your heart. So if you’d love to make a bold career switch, don’t wait.

Work out what you’d need to do to make it happen and make the move. Who knows where you’ll be this time next year!

Photo by Mael BALLAND