Know You Can Do It
The prospect of entering a new career is exciting but also daunting. It is easy to psych yourself out, and just convince yourself you are better off staying where you are. You might look at all that lies ahead and feel overwhelmed—just take a breath and tackle one thing at a time. Maybe you think you are too old to start a new path professionally, but with all the skills and life experience you have acquired, chances are good you can land a new job. You may think you are lacking skills, but most of us underestimate ourselves and how much we have learned over the years. If you really feel you need to bone up on something, look into taking a class. With all the fears about the economy, you may think it foolish to change jobs now, but if you are really unhappy, you should do something about it. It is not necessary to make any bold moves now; and you might be surprised to find that some of the jobs you are considering have a very good outlook for the long-term.
Get to Know Yourself
You may have already nailed this one, but many people in this position may be very clear that they don’t like the line of work they are in now, but less clear on what direction they want to go. Stop and think for a moment if you may be in this group. If you are, it is important you do some serious self-reflection. Where do your passions lie? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What sorts of tasks do you enjoy and which ones do you dislike? Think carefully before jumping ship for a new line of work. Without serious thought to these types of questions, you will not have a strong foundation on which to start your search. You may pick a new field for the wrong reasons. Do your homework. You can find lots of helpful information, such as articles on careers based on your personality.
Define What Success Means to You Personally
What makes someone successful? In reality, there is no one concrete answer. Too often it is defined by wealth or being in a position of power. Sure, that is success. But, those are not the only traits. When thinking about your new career path, it is important to craft your own definition of success. For some, it may simply be finding a job that makes them happy. For others, being able to find regular balance between work and professional life is a core ingredient. What does your ideal life look like? What do you value? What do you consider a success?