By SHIV NANDA
The days when your first career was always your last are long gone past. People today are re-entering the workforce or reinventing themselves to prepare for a career switch because they expect a promising second inning.
If you are contemplating a second career, you may have one or multiple reasons:
- You may not be thrilled with your current job and want to try something different
- You may be a stay-at-home mum trying to get back into work life
- You may a retiree trying to have an income stream in retirement
- You may have been bitten by an entrepreneurship bug
Whatever your reasons for a professional sequel may be, your second debut is not going to be as smooth as you expect to be. You may experience two types of fears – not being able to fit in and not being able to have enough money to make the career switch.
To overcome your fears, you must face them. Before you face them, you need to be prepared. This article is all about being prepared for the second launch of your career.
Let’s talk about how you can manage your fears to make a smart career switch.
Fear of not being able to fit in
If you are not sure whether you are prepared to take on the challenges that come with taking on a new career, go through these tips.
1. Find the right fit
Starting a second career is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, before you decide to make the career transition, make sure you’re choosing a career that is a good fit for your interests, skills and schedule. Consider doing what inspires you and gives you purpose, and then look at potential career options in those areas.
2. Keep your expectations in check
When starting a second career, it can be easy to expect things to be exactly the same as when you left. You’ll face the hard truth that things are not the same and many of the best practices you knew are now obsolete.
Research current trends and technology in your target industry to have a better understanding of what’s happening around and quickly climb the learning curve.
Listen to this podcast: Moving Between Industries: A Tale of Transferable Skills
3. Brush up on skills
You may have to update or refresh your skills. Consider enrolling in a certificate programme and take advantage of online classes or refresher training to update your skills.
4. Make professional connections
With your goal to switch to a different career, your professional connections and networking skills will come in handy. Fortunately for you, in this time and age, networking isn’t difficult.
One of the best ways to make professional connections is by creating an account on professional networking sites and joining the groups that are relevant to your new career.
Attend conferences and job events or fairs. The more people you have in your network, the better your chances are of having a dream career.
Fear of not having enough money to go after a second career
Financing a career switch is a giant task. It’s a big decision to make because it will affect every aspect of your life.
It’s okay to be concerned about money because you have responsibilities – a mortgage perhaps, or a family, and all those bills to pay. Take some time to weigh your financial options.
These tips might help.
1. Build your savings
Try to build a fund that will keep you safe while you make changes to your career, such as:
- Figure out what you want to do next
- Launch a business
- Retrain or upskill for a new industry, or undergo career advancing courses
Savings helps you balance a lot of responsibilities that can’t be adjusted.
2. Look at financing options
If your savings are not enough or if you don’t want to pull money from your savings, financing options are abundant and readily available to help you.
If you want to start a business, you can keep your savings intact by taking advantage of a business loan.
If you want to upskill yourself or study further, a personal loan for education or an education loan can work beautifully to finance your career change.
Having said that, embarking on a new career can be an anxious time for anyone. While it is incredibly beneficial to your professional and personal life, it doesn’t come without risks. Accept that.
Addressing your fears and being prepared to face them head on is what’s going to give you the confidence to venture out in the uncharted territory of a new career.