It can take a large leap of faith to change careers, but without a plan it can be a hugely dicey move. Everyone should have the freedom to re-train and obtain a new qualification, but sometimes financial and personal reasons can limit how this fits into your schedule.
By creating a business plan you will not only feel less overwhelmed by the scale of the change needed but also have a sense of what needs to be achieved first. When personal finances and our dreams are at stake, it’s always sensible to create a structured plan and compare your options such as with ir35 contracting.
This might seem obvious, but you will need to consider how your education needs are going to factor in your business plan. How many years will this take? Will you have to quit your current job? Will you have to work around your family? Once you’ve figured out the best path, you will need to look into what levels of education your new career path will require.
If you’re not ready to ditch your current job, then taking an online course can be incredibly valuable. For example, if you were thinking of becoming a civil engineer, then an online structural engineering degree would allow you to fit this around your family. Education can be the ideal step towards a new career.
A Savings Budget
In order to succeed in your new line of work you may need some financial backing – and that may have to come from you. While scholarships and family support can sometimes come as an unexpected surprise, it creates a good work ethic to save regularly and financially support yourself.
If you’re concerned about how to do this, particularly if you’re on a slim budget as it is, then there are a few things to consider:
- Assess what you spend in a month. An easy way to do this is to open your online checking account and print out your transactions for the month. Go through and assess how much of it was necessary, and how much was down to convenience or impulse purchases.
- Come up with an amount that you can realistically put away each month. If you can push it even higher on occasion, the more, the Setting up regular payments online is a great way to ensure that you have to plan around this new budget.
- Focus on your goal. If you have to create a mood board of images reflecting where you want to be in five years, or use a picture to illustrate what made you want to achieve your dreams in the first place, then use these to motivate you. You might slip up on the odd month and not save quite as much as you would have liked, but there’s always next month to stay focused.
If your career change likely puts you in the position of being self-employed, then you may need finance training to be competent in balancing your own books. You may wish to undergo this at the end of your formal education and experience, but you will ideally want to get some finance understanding before registering as self-employed.
As mentioned earlier, changing careers can require a bit of financial diligence, and understanding the basics of monitoring incomings and outgoings is something that everybody should learn. You don’t have to be the next best accountant to get a fundamental understanding of business finance. In fact, even if you do decide to invest in an accounted for the financial end of your business, it’s said that getting some understanding can be incredibly beneficial so you can understand the value of their advice.
If no members of your friends or family have had any experience of the sector you’ll be joining, then you may feel a little alienated, and perhaps feel as if you’re going into a new career path completely blind. As well as your research into the sector, you should find a mentor to level any expectations and answer questions. A good mentor should be able to explain their own personal experience and suggest what route into the industry would best suit you.
One of the most important aspects of changing careers is networking. If you don’t have any immediate friends or colleagues with experience in your future industry then attending networking events is a great way to meet people. Attending careers fairs and reaching out to local businesses is not only a great way to potentially find a mentor, but also open a few doors in the future.
A Brand New Resume
This can be the hard bit, as you may not have much experience in your new career field – if any at all. However, all is not lost.
Before writing, you will need to get in a ‘can-do’ mindset. If you begin writing your new resume with a sense of defeat, it will come across in your writing. Pick up your old resume and analyze your past experiences: which qualities are still relevant to your new industry? Can some of your old brilliant personal traits be beneficial to your new career? It’s advised that you write your new resume with a clear sense of what your goals are, and that you’re specific about your talents.
If you already have a really good resume that you are proud of – then it is important to update your resume with any changes.
Networking and education aren’t the only two things that will guarantee you employment in the future. On top of any qualifications, you may need to undergo an apprenticeship or start building on some work experience. While your starting salary might not be entirely desirable, your passion and hard work should ultimately pay off. Be enthusiastic and available, and constantly work on your resume.
A business plan isn’t an organized strategy to make money – it’s merely a way of organizing your goals towards progression – which will ideally make you money. Implementing structure to your change in career will help to give you something the focus on in what can seem a very uncertain time.
Of course, it can be amended and changed as you learn and grow throughout your training and education. However, a bit of organization will keep you focused on the future, and you can keep track of your successes as you progress.