Changing careers midstream is daunting for most people, especially when you already have a sense of job security and have invested so much in a career.
Sometimes there is often little choice in changing careers. Whether by choice or force, here are five tips to achieve a successful extreme career change.
1 – Have A Think
Consider the elements in your current job that you really enjoy. Is it the skills you are using, the kinds of people you work with or services you provide? What elements do you want to keep as you move into your next position? Also think about prior positions and experiences you have had, include aspects you enjoyed and were good at from those experiences.
2 – Widen Your Scope
What are all the possibilities available to you?
Once, when I made a big career change, I opened newspaper job ads and read them cover to cover, circling every position that sounded interesting to me even if I didn’t have any skills or experience related to them.
Keeping in mind aspects of your work that you enjoy, discuss the possibilities with people around you who know you well. They can suggest things they think you would enjoy and be good at. Keep an open mind and have a look around at the possibilities.
3 – Narrow In
Look more closely at the jobs that interest you. Is the pay satisfying, are there positions available or do you have to go self-employed? What new skills you have to gain, what are some of the drawbacks of the work?
4 – Give It A Try
Can you do an internship or volunteer in a position similar to the new role you are considering? Maybe not even an official one, but scour through your contacts and network for such a role. It could be just a few hours a week to get a feel for the work.
5 – Arm Up
What skills are you going to need for this new job? Can you take online courses or find classes locally to get them? Can you acquire these skills from your current organization, maybe even changing positions there before making the next move?
Here is an excellent guide to Changing Careers When You Are Older.
Whatever your final choice is, be sure to use ihsan along the way. Be as patient as you can (we know sometimes career changes have to happen abruptly), doing your best all along the way. And of course always use Istikharah as your guide.
Get some inspiration from these stories of six Muslim women who successfully made career changes!