A New Career: Preparing Practically

A key focus of my blog is Career Discussions. Many people work one career for years and then decide that they want to change things up and switch to another career. The following contributed post is entitled, A New Career: Preparing Practically.

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Pixabay – CC0 License

A new career isn’t just a new job, but it’s about embarking on a whole new aspect of your personality. Preparing for any change in life can be physically and mentally exhausting. When you are preparing for a change, it’s not just about making sure you are ready to do the job but it’s about understanding how best to look after yourself. In many ways, looking after yourself is about getting to grips with the job before you go. But it’s also about making sure you are prepared in every single way possible.

Doing Your Homework
It can be very pressurizing starting a new job, especially if they expect you to sink or swim right away. It’s so important these days to hit the ground running as soon as you get in there. This is why it’s so important to give yourself as much time as possible to get a feeling for the environment, but also do your homework. In a practical sense, you could very well practice doing the job by setting yourself tests. Practicing certain scenarios can also help. And you can do this in so many different careers. For example, if you are preparing for a new career as a pilot, you can very easily set up a basic simulation at home and purchase the relevant items associated with it, such as joysticks and aviation headsets. The more you research the role before you dive into it, the better prepared you are mentally. You may have the skills, but you also need to think about the day-to-day activities associated with the role.

Preparing Your Finances
You have to prepare financially for a career transition. Starting any new job may very well mean that your income may drop in the short-term. While you may have gone to a new job because of better pay, there can be issues that need to iron themselves out in the short-term. This is why you need to examine your expenses closely. During the first week or two, it can be tempting to treat yourself to nice lunches, but this can eat into your expenses. Find ways to treat yourself but in a more cost-friendly way. You also need to look at your spending needs as well as your spending wants. It’s about providing a financial cushion, as you make transitions into a new career. As much as you want to celebrate your new start, this could be to the detriment of your finances in the short-term. Hang tight during this time, and take sandwiches into the office. Besides, it gives you the opportunity to pre-pack healthy meals rather than relying on unhealthy take out and feeling the temptation to order pizza and donuts, which are more than common in every office.

Don’t Get Ideas Above Your Station
Going into a new job for many is about climbing up the career ladder. But you have to remember that you aren’t going to be in this job for a few weeks before you move on up. You need to set yourself goals, but you’ve got to be focused where you are. It’s about establishing short-term objectives, but also keeping your eye on the long-term ones. You may find that when you are working in a certain environment that people will attempt to sabotage your abilities to develop. It’s about keeping a clear head and remaining focused. To begin with, you don’t want to be seen as an opportunist. Instead, keep your head down, listen, and plan your trajectory gradually.

This Isn’t the Final Hurdle
You may have spent a long time getting relevant qualifications and preparing for this moment. But we all get itchy feet on occasion. Your new career might be perfect for you now, but you may feel differently in a year or two. You have to remember that any career change is a process. And the best way to view any new career is as a transitional obligation. Because when you’ve been looking at a certain career from the outside, it may feel different when you are there. It’s everything that you wanted from an outside perspective, but when you get into the role, you realize that it can be a bit further down the pecking order. And this is why it’s so important to celebrate small milestones. Take the opportunities to give yourself a pat on the back as you go. And when you are preparing for a new career there are things you can view as the next stage in your trajectory.