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Ask Yourself These Questions if You Are Considering a Career Path Change

Ask Yourself These Questions if You Are Considering a Career Path Change

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By Julianne Brown
Contributor and Career Coach, APUS

Often, you may second-guess whether you are on the right career path. Although changing career paths can be an exciting adventure, it can also feel overwhelming. You could be changing career paths for a variety of reasons: stressful jobs, earning more money, your work may bore you or you are experiencing burnout.

Regardless of the reason, rest assured you are not alone. In order to get your career goals back on track, ask yourself these five questions to target your new career.

  1. What is my dream career? Start with your interests and things you are passionate about. What do you like to do? What could you do for several hours a day and enjoy? What would you be motivated to do even if you weren’t paid for it? Working in an industry you are passionate about could help increase your happiness in your career.
  2. What are the qualifications for my dream career? Many careers require certain qualifications such as certifications, levels of education and years of experience, or things that are harder to obtain, such as a security clearance. Ensure you check into what the qualifications are for your target career, including state and national level licensure, if applicable.
  3. Do I have what it takes to be successful in my target career field? It is important to not only understand the qualifications for your target career, but to have those qualifications as well. Many things such as skills, education and personality traits are items that you have or you can improve on. Focus on your transferable skills from your past experience to the present, and highlight what is important for your target industry. 
  4. What companies should I target for employment? A good way to start researching your new field is looking for the leading companies in the industry. What types of qualifications do these companies look for? What is the corporate culture like? What type of background experience do the people that currently work here have? Will I be a good fit? Be sure to use LinkedIn as a networking and researching resource in your time of transition!
  5. Am I ready to build from the ground up, again? Keep in mind that in most cases when transitioning career fields, while you may have transferable skills, you are no longer the expert. Be ready to start from the bottom and prove yourself in your new career field. Take this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself.

Changing your career path can be a very exciting and extremely nerve-wracking process. Ensure you are researching professionals in your intended career, and make sure you have the necessary qualifications to be successful. Your new career path should stem from your interests and things you are passionate about to ensure you will experience contentment in your new field.

Learn more about degree programs at American Public University.

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