7 Things To Do Before You Say “I Quit!”April 17, 2013 by Anna Runyan ·
Thinking of changing careers? It’s easy to get quickly avoid the idea since finding any job right now is difficult. If you really want to make the jump, though, networking may be your best bet for settling into a new career. The most important part is making sure you factor in time to network. If it keeps sitting on your “To Do” list, you’re never going to accomplish your goals.
Before you storm into your boss’ office to yell, “I quit!” you have to do some good ol’ fashioned research:
- Find out if there’s a market in your area for whatever career you’re interested in. Some people actually have to move to pursue their dream job.
- Contact people who work in the field you have your heart set in and ask them how they ended up where they are. Participate in online forums to chat with people who are in, or who are trying to be in, the industry.
- When you talk to your contacts, ask what they like and what they don’t like about their job. If you’re thinking of leaving your current job behind, you may hate your boss, waking up at 6 a.m. for an hour-long commute or working in a crummy office that leaks when it rains.
- Be realistic, though. Every job has good and bad points. Knowing what to expect from a new career will help you decide if it’s really for you. You’re probably going to have to defend yourself and your decision many times over.
- Make sure you have a clear view of why you want to change careers. It’s easy to say, “I don’t have to explain myself to anybody!” but it’s not always that easy. Your parents and friends may want to shoot down your idea, but not everybody who’s inquisitive is trying to burst your bubble. Some people you talk to who are already in the industry simply want a clearer view of your goals so they can steer you the right way.
- Don’t overlook friends and peers. People often bypass those they know closely because they assume they won’t be of any help. If you take a second look, though, you’ll be surprised as how many skills, interests and talents your immediate circle has. Plus, they may know some people who could help you change careers as well.
- Part of networking your way into a new career may involve doing some work and proving yourself. Let’s say you want to become a photographer but you don’t have any experience yet. You’ll want to network with wedding photographers and some of they may invite you along on a shoot. You likely won’t get paid even if you’re expected to help out, but turning an opportunity like this down could be detrimental to your career. You’ll need to start adding relevant experience to your resume, so take what you can get, especially in the beginning.
Once you start completing these steps, you will be so much closer to that day when you can finally say, “I quit!”