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Changing careers can be an exciting undertaking, especially if you’re pursuing a career in a field that you’re truly passionate about. Not only will you find professional fulfillment by pursuing your passions, but you’ll also have personal satisfaction making a living out of what motivates and interests you. Use this resource for advice on changing careers and chasing after what you love.
Making a change
When you’ve decided it’s time to change careers, it’s a good idea to learn about career paths that interest you. For example, if you enjoy working on computers, do some research and create a list of occupations that would allow you to pursue that type of work.
For each career path on your list, look up job descriptions, educational and certification requirements, earning potential, and advancement opportunities. Your initial research will help you narrow down your search even further as you get a better idea of whether you’re suited for a specific type of job. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a cybersecurity analyst, you’ll likely need certifications, so your research could lead you to enroll in a cybersecurity boot camp.
One excellent way to learn about a new career path is by conducting informational interviews with people who work in those roles. Contact companies that appeal to you, and find out if someone in the human resources department can connect you with an employee in the department you’re interested in joining. Another great way to connect for informational interviews is through LinkedIn.
Make a plan
When you’ve done the research, it’s time to make a plan for changing careers. Along with helping you lay out the steps necessary for changing careers, it will help illuminate any gaps in your plan.
For example, if you want to get into a career in web design, you might realize that you don’t have a great portfolio to show potential employers or clients. Your career action plan will help you determine steps you may need to take—i.e., creating a stunning portfolio—before getting too far ahead of yourself.
If you’re not keen on returning to school, sometimes it’s better to pursue freelancing opportunities to learn more about the career path you’re interested in. Another benefit to freelancing is that you’ll lay the groundwork for starting your own company if that appeals to you. Regardless, you’ll gain more experience and have an opportunity to find out whether the career change is actually right for you.
Starting your own business
Sometimes, to follow your passions, it’s necessary to start your own business. It’s important to understand what steps you need to take before you launch, from choosing a business structure to filing all the necessary paperwork.
For many businesses, setting up a limited liability company or LLC is a great option. LLCs allow business owners personal asset protection in case of a lawsuit or other legal issue, and can often make paying taxes easier. It’s possible to form an LLC on your own, but there are low-cost formation services that can make it much easier. A formation service can file all the necessary paperwork in your state and even provide you with the documents you’ll need.
Changing careers could be the best thing that’s ever happened to your professional life, but it’s wise to do your research and ensure you’re ready to make the change. If you’re entering a new industry, learn about the necessary steps you’ll need to take to be qualified to work in the field — whether it means going back to school or freelancing for a while to gain credentials or build your portfolio. And if you choose to start your own business, consider forming an LLC to run your company.
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