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Making a Career Change Can Be a Difficult Decision

We've all experienced it -- especially when things aren't going well -- our minds call out for a change. Statistics show that many of us follow through with that urge at least once, but not without some degree of anxiety. At first it would seem contradictory to both desire and fear change, but these are separate issues. Desiring to leave a situation where you are unhappy is not at all unusual, and it is quite natural to feel anxious about the unknown that lies ahead.

Before considering a career change, one should pinpoint the particular elements of their present job that cause the unhappiness or unrest. Sometimes it can make a world of difference having a talk with your boss to smooth out rough spots. Difficult co-workers, who can cause stress and create discomfort in the workplace, may be to blame. Perhaps its a single, but very unpleasant, part of your job that you can somehow adjust to with proper advice or counseling. Maybe you just need to change your scenery rather than your career.

All Things Considered
So you have analyzed the situation, you've considered all of the factors, and you're convinced that a new career is the key to your happiness. What's the next step?

A plan. Most of the anxiety is caused by the 'unknown'. By creating a plan and visualizing what it is you want from your new career, the 'unknown' factor is reduced.

Ahh, but what do you want to do? Take some time and review your strengths and weaknesses. Take stock of your skills -- which skills are transferable, and which of them would you rather forget. Need new skills? You may be surprised to find a wealth of information on the Internet regarding training and where to get it.

The Internet has also made it easier to do the necessary research on your particular area of interest, or specific company you wish to work for. And don't overlook newspapers, trade magazines, associations, and people who are already in the that field. Yes, good ol' networking still works and is highly recommended. Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions as many people enjoy talking about their livelihood.

...and then there's the money
The fact of the matter is, depending on your particular situation, your new career may not offer a higher salary. Not yet, anyway. Remember, you are investing in a happier more fulfilling future, and we all know that it takes time for good investments to pay off. Again, this is dependent on your particular situation. A close review of your personal finances will dictate what devices and techniques can and cannot be considered. For instance, you may be able to consider taking a temporary or interim position. Not only will this serve as an excellent opportunity to make contacts and get your foot in the door, but you'll also be able to try the career on for size without making an all out commitment.

Finally, make sure your resume is tailored to show off your transferable skills as well as basic professional attributes such as work ethic and dependability. The more you research, plan, and prepare the more confident you will be during the interview process. Show them that although you lack in experience you have obtained a good understanding of your chosen field and possess the motivation to excel.

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