How to change careers in 5 simple steps

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 3:33 am, Fri Aug 1, 2014.

(BPT) - A teacher transitioning to a job in the corporate world. A stay-at-home mom rejoining the workforce. A baby boomer choosing a new career over retirement. There are countless individuals every day that carefully weigh the pros and cons of making a major career change. Are you one of them?

Driven by passion and the desire to have more satisfying work, eager individuals are taking the leap of faith and switching to an entirely new career this year. If you’re contemplating a career change, there are some important things to consider so you can plan and position yourself for success. These five tips will help you gain confidence in your decision to transform your work.

1. Define your passion

What do you truly love to do? It could be cooking, working with children, gardening, number-crunching, etc. Start by defining what you’re passionate about and realistically look at how that passion can be tapped so you can make money doing what you love. It’s also wise to analyze the reasons why you want to make a career change. Long-term dissatisfaction with your work might be a good reason to consider a new career, but isolated issues that have taken place recently might not necessarily be the best reason to make such a big life change.

2. Think outside the box

You may already know what you love to do, but finding a way to make it a career might be a more complex task. Think creatively and don’t be afraid to go outside the typical 9-to-5 job options. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a franchise can be a rewarding opportunity. For example, if you enjoy helping children learn and want to play a role in shaping the future of growing minds, consider being an owner/operator of a Kumon Math and Reading Franchise. By building a career with the world’s largest after-school math and reading academic enrichment program, you’ll be a business owner who is also a driving force for social good by having a profound impact on the lives of children in your community. Visit kumonfranchise.com to learn more.

3. Make time to plan

Changing careers is a huge step that can be challenging. It is not something that should be done impulsively, and you must give yourself time to plan. You’ll want to be sure you are mentally and financially prepared for what’s next. Setbacks are bound to occur along with the successes, and with thorough planning you’ll position yourself for even more positive outcomes.

4. Be practical and research

Changing careers is a journey, not a race. Being practical about decisions and making changes in stages can be helpful. Explore opportunities that are attractive to you and talk with others who work in that industry. They can provide the best insight into what the day-to-day responsibilities would be, including the pluses and drawbacks of the job. Remember to research the outlook for different industries and career paths as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook is a great resource.

5. Build a support network

Having supportive friends and family can be a key factor in successfully making a major career change. Make sure you have a network of supportive individuals who will be there for you through it all. Professional support can make a big difference, too. Franchise owners at Kumon join more than 2,000 individually owned and operated centers across North America, meaning they have the support of many other people who know the industry and what it takes to succeed. Additionally, having a mentor, no matter what career path you pursue, can provide you with expertise and counsel to help position you for a bright future.

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