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How to Change Careers Even When You Are ‘Super Afraid’

Are you feeling stuck in your current career and dreaming of something more fulfilling? Well, you're not alone! Changing careers can be a daunting and scary task, but it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions you'll ever make. It's time to stop scrolling through your ex-coworker's vacation photos on Facebook and start taking control of your professional life. In this article, we'll be discussing the steps you can take to change careers, even when you're "super afraid".

First, we'll be discussing the importance of assessing your skills and interests. This is where you'll get to know yourself a little better and figure out what you're truly passionate about. Next, we'll delve into researching potential careers, so you can make an informed decision about which path to take. We'll also be talking about networking and gaining experience, because let's be real, it's not all about what you know, it's about who you know too. We'll also be addressing the elephant in the room, fear, and give you strategies on how to overcome it. Finally, we'll be wrapping up with some additional resources and final thoughts to help you on your journey. So buckle up, and let's get started on this wild ride of career change.

Assessing Your Skills and Interests

Importance of understanding your skills and interests Before you can even begin to think about a new career, it's crucial to understand your own skills and interests. This will not only help you to identify potential new careers that align with your strengths, but it will also give you a sense of direction and purpose. Imagine trying to navigate a new city without a map or GPS, it would be a complete disaster! The same goes for your career journey. Knowing your skills and interests is like having a map and GPS, it'll guide you in the right direction.

One way to assess your skills and interests is by taking a career assessment test. These can range from free online quizzes to more in-depth assessments administered by professionals. Another way is by making a list of activities or tasks that you enjoy doing and excel at. Ask yourself, "What am I naturally good at?" and "What do I enjoy doing in my free time?". You can also ask for feedback from colleagues, friends, and family to get a different perspective on your skills and interests.

Once you have a clear understanding of your skills and interests, you can start researching potential new careers that align with them. For example, if you have strong communication skills and a passion for helping others, you may want to consider careers in counseling or social work. If you're a creative type with an interest in fashion, you may want to explore becoming a fashion designer or stylist. The key is to find a career that allows you to use your strengths and enjoy what you do.

Assessing your skills and interests is important because it will give you a sense of direction and purpose, and will help to identify potential new careers that align with your strengths. You can assess your skills and interests by taking a career assessment test, making a list of activities or tasks that you enjoy doing and excel at and asking for feedback from colleagues, friends, and family. You can use your skills and interests to identify potential new careers by researching careers that align with them.

Researching Potential Careers

Importance of researching potential careers Researching potential careers is like going on a first date, you don't want to show up blind. You want to know as much as possible about the person (or in this case, career) before committing. Sure, you may think that being a unicorn trainer sounds like a dream job, but have you considered the long hours, low pay, and constant cleaning of unicorn poop? (Yes, it's a real job, and no, it's not as glamorous as it sounds). Researching potential careers will give you a realistic idea of what the job entails, the necessary qualifications, and the earning potential.

One of the best ways to research potential careers is by talking to people who are already working in that field. Reach out to people in your network and ask if you can schedule an informational interview. You can also attend networking events and job fairs to meet and speak with professionals in your desired field. Researching online is also a great way to learn more about potential careers. Websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are great resources for learning about job duties, salary, and qualifications.

When evaluating the pros and cons of different careers, it's important to consider factors such as salary, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and growth potential. You may also want to take into account geographical location, as some careers may require you to relocate. It's also important to consider your values and goals, and if they align with the company's mission and culture. For example, if you're passionate about environmental conservation, you may want to consider a career in sustainable energy rather than working for a coal mining company.

Researching potential careers is important because it will give you a realistic idea of what the job entails, the necessary qualifications and the earning potential. You can research potential careers by talking to people who are already working in that field, attending networking events and job fairs, and researching online. When evaluating the pros and cons of different careers, consider factors such as salary, job satisfaction, work-life balance, growth potential, geographical location and values and goals.

Networking and Gaining Experience

Networking and gaining experience are like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together. It's not just about what you know, it's also about who you know. Building a strong network can open doors to new opportunities, and gaining experience can help you stand out in a crowded job market. It's like trying to get a date without a good pickup line, it's just not going to happen.

Networking can be done in a variety of ways, such as attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with people on LinkedIn. When networking, it's important to be genuine and to offer value to the person you're connecting with. Gaining experience can be done by volunteering, interning, or taking on freelance or part-time work in your desired field.

Once you've built a strong network and gained experience, you can leverage it to gain an edge in the job market. For example, if you've built a strong network in the marketing field, you can reach out to your contacts when you're looking for a job in that field. Similarly, if you've gained experience working on a specific project, you can highlight that experience in your resume and during interviews. It's like having a VIP pass to a concert, it'll get you to the front of the line.

Networking and gaining experience are important because it's not just about what you know, it's also about who you know and gaining experience can help you stand out in a crowded job market. You can network by attending industry events, joining professional organizations and connecting with people on LinkedIn. You can gain experience by volunteering, interning, or taking on freelance or part-time work in your desired field. You can use networking and experience to gain an edge in the job market by leveraging your network and highlighting your experience during interviews.

Overcoming Fear 

Understanding the sources of fear and anxiety when making a career change Making a career change can be scary, and it's completely normal to feel fear and anxiety. The fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of not measuring up can all hold us back. It's like going on a rollercoaster, it's exciting but also terrifying. It's important to understand that these fears are normal and that they don't have to control you.

One strategy for overcoming fear and building confidence is to educate yourself on the new career path you're considering. The more you know about the field, the less unknown there is, and the less scary it becomes. Another strategy is to set small, achievable goals for yourself. This will help you to build momentum and confidence. It's like taking baby steps before running a marathon. Visualization can also be a powerful tool for overcoming fear and building confidence. Imagine yourself succeeding in your new career, and focus on the positive aspects of the change.

Creating a support system and finding inspiration can help to keep you motivated and on track. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who will support and encourage you. This can be friends, family, colleagues, or a mentor. You can also find inspiration by reading books, listening to podcasts, or following people on social media who have made successful career changes. It's like having a cheer squad, they'll keep you motivated and pumped up.

Overcoming fear is important when making a career change. The fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of not measuring up can all hold us back. You can overcome fear by educating yourself on the new career path you're considering, setting small, achievable goals, visualization, creating a support system and finding inspiration. You can create a support system by surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and who will support and encourage you, and you can find inspiration by reading books, listening to podcasts or following people on social media who have made successful career changes.

Conclusion

In this article, we've discussed the steps you can take to change careers, even when you're "super afraid". We covered assessing your skills and interests, researching potential careers, networking and gaining experience, overcoming fear and finally, the conclusion. Assessing your skills and interests will give you a sense of direction and purpose and will help to identify potential new careers that align with your strengths. Researching potential careers will give you a realistic idea of what the job entails, the necessary qualifications and the earning potential. Networking and gaining experience are important because it's not just about what you know, it's also about who you know and gaining experience can help you stand out in a crowded job market. Overcoming fear is important when making a career change, you can overcome fear by educating yourself on the new career path you're considering, setting small, achievable goals, visualization, creating a support system and finding inspiration.

There are many resources available for those interested in changing careers. Websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are great resources for researching potential careers. Career counseling and coaching services can also be helpful for those looking to make a career change. Additionally, there are many books, podcasts, and websites that offer advice and inspiration for those considering a career change.

Changing careers can be scary, but it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions you'll ever make. Remember, it's never too late to pursue your passions and make a change. Take the time to assess your skills and interests, research potential careers, and build a strong network. And most importantly, don't let fear hold you back. You got this! As the famous quote goes "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." So, go forth and find your dream job, you won't regret it!

If you're interested in working in accounting and finance, or you're already working in the field and want to move up in your career, or even if you just want to change careers, Ujuzingo can help. We offer certification courses, career guidance and job openings to help you succeed in this industry. Check them out!