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Thinking about your career in the long term is something we do a lot as teens and young adults. But when you’ve moved into the working world and have already made great strides in your field, we don’t tend to even consider that someone could have a career crisis. 

And when you’ve already got some success behind you, suddenly feeling like you’ve got nowhere else to go can be seriously worrying. That’s why switching careers is a scary thing to face, no matter where you are or what age you are. 

But we’re not talking about making a move as soon as possible here. If you want to put your career into consideration, you need to take your time, and really think about where you could go next. Here’s how to keep your thoughts from overwhelming you while you put an action plan together.

A woman thinking about her career choice

Define Your Reasoning

The first thing to do here is a little introspection. Why are you even thinking about possibly changing careers? What’s going on in your professional life that’s leaving you unsatisfied? Once you define your reasoning for wanting to change careers, you can actually start writing down the pros and cons of moving on. 

Alternatively, you might discover that you don’t want a career change at all. In fact, all you really want is a change of scenery! Maybe a new place to work, or a new team to work with? Maybe you’re sick of not getting a promotion and want to go somewhere you’re truly appreciated? Mull it over and come to a conclusion before doing anything else. 

Think About How Your Goals Have Changed

This is another potential reason as to why you want a career change – have your career goals changed over the years? Maybe what you once thought was your dream job has turned out to be a little dull in reality? Now you want to go on a new adventure or find a new mission to follow. 

Write down what you wanted to do when you were just starting out, and then note down all the ways in which you’ve accomplished those goals. See if there’s a pattern here; show the list to someone you trust and see what they think. Maybe you just find that the job you work in is far too soulless for your own liking! 

Start Talking to New People

Making connections with people in different companies and even different fields is a good way to see what’s out there. You can find out a lot about working conditions and potential opportunities when you make a new professional connection; reach out, send a few questions their way, and even go for coffee sometime

If you meet face to face, you prove you’re serious about finding something new to do. And when you go that far, they may even personally suggest you the next time they hear about something! 

It’s likely you’re already all over networking websites, so use them to full effect here. Take those job titles you did some research into and see who already fills them. What qualifications do they have? And what experience did it take to get to where they are? 

Consider Working for Yourself

Now you’ve reached a point in your career where you’re comfortable navigating the workplace, why not take a step back and start working for yourself? Being your own boss is a very desirable course to take, thanks to just how much control you’ll retain over who you are and where you go. 

And it’s easier than ever to start a business of your own. Plus if you’ve already got a side hustle you’re working on, this could be the perfect time to go full-time with it. If things are going well, get yourself down to companies house and register as a limited company and start trading in earnest. 

But if not, take this time to think about what you do well, and how you could sell that as a product or service. Going freelance, for example, is a great way to dip your toes into the water and see how you like the scene. 

Taking your career to a new place is a hard decision and for good reason. You’ve worked hard to get where you are – is that worth giving up right now? And if it is, where are you going to go next? Do your research, put your feelers out, and help yourself be confident about your choice.

Here’s how to keep your thoughts from overwhelming you while you put an action plan together.

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