If you’re not happy in your current job or career path, but you don’t know what you want to do instead, then there’s good news. There are many ways to prepare for a career change, that don’t involve knowing what your ideal job or career path is. So even if you have no idea what you want to do yet, you can start taking positive actions that will benefit you in the long run.
1. Improve Your Spending Habits
One of the biggest concerns people have when changing careers or deciding to start a business is understandably finances. So if you hate your job but don’t know what career direction you want to take yet, improving your spending habits is a great way to prepare for a career change.
This is the perfect time to get your finances in order. Start monitoring your spending and see where you can cut back. Getting used to a reduced cost of living will help you if you do later find that the direction you want to take will cost you money in terms of training, learning new skills, or even dealing with a drop in earnings if you have less money coming in. Of course this isn’t always the case, but improving your spending habits is beneficial for lots of other reasons besides a career change as well.
2. Focus on Saving
When it comes to building your runway, cutting back on spending is just one avenue, but focusing your efforts on saving is another. Knowing that your costs are covered for 6 months or more will remove the stress and worry so that you can focus on what you need to do to launch your new career or business smoothly and as quickly as possible if it’s not possible to transition alongside a day job. Even if you have no idea what direction you want to take in your career, you can start saving for the career transition now.
3. Improve Your Time Management Skills
Another challenge that many people struggle with is fitting in starting a business/ side hustle or doing the coursework required to launch a new career alongside their day job. This makes improving your time management skills a wonderful way to prepare for a career change, regardless of what your next career direction will be.
Although the path you eventually choose might not require any additional study, learning to manage your time effectively will still be highly beneficial. You’ll be better able to fit in activities like going out to networking events that will help you in your career change or when you’re starting a new business.
4. Learn or Develop a Valuable Skill ( Eg. Excel, Communication, Presentation)
Learning new skills is always beneficial and this makes it a great way to prepare for a career change.
Some skills are valuable in a majority of career paths. These include things like presentation skills, communication skills, finance/ dealing with numbers, or even coding. While you’re not clear on what path is for you, it’s a great opportunity to start learning or brushing up on these critical skills that will help you to stand out and get ahead, no matter what your next career move is.
Speaking of learning new skills, these are the most in-demand skills right now.
5. Develop Better Planning and Organization Skills
One of the reasons so many of us struggle with managing our time is that we’re not organized and we don’t know how to effectively plan and prioritize. Planning and organization skills are valuable in every role, whether you’re in a job or working for yourself in your business.
The sooner you can hone these skills the better. You’ll be able to get more done while remaining calm and avoiding the stress that comes from being disorganized and feeling overwhelmed.
If you find that you often feel overwhelmed, or that you tend to avoid getting things done, read this article all about how to overcome avoidance and stop feeling overwhelmed.
6. Build Your Confidence
Do you feel confident in yourself? Are you confident about what you have to offer? And how would you rate your feelings of self-worth?
Building your confidence is another important way to prepare for a career change.
When we lack confidence it comes through in everything we do. Whether you’re in a job interview, pitching for freelance work, or trying to secure a coaching client, increased confidence will help you to stand out and achieve what you want. Because when you feel confident it shows and it instills confidence in you from others. Potential clients feel that by working with you they’ll be in good hands, and potential employers will feel that they can leave things in your capable hands without having to constantly monitor you or check in.
Need a confidence boost? Listen to what confidence expert Nicola Fox had to say about feeling more confident in your life and career
Also, be sure to check out these 10 Ways To Boost Your Confidence So You Can Have More Success In Your Career
7. Create a Morning Routine
After interviewing nearly 100 highly successful women in business, including entrepreneurs and CEOs, many of whom have built multiple six-figure, and even multi-million dollar companies and businesses, one thing that they all have in common is a solid morning routine.
While everyone’s morning routine is different they all have one.
Having a morning routine is about setting yourself up for success and starting your day off the right way. They say “ start as you mean to go on” If your day starts with chaos and a lack of direction and clarity, then it’s more than likely going to continue this way.
Avoid having days that lack direction, or days where you are stressed and disorganized by creating a grounding morning routine.
Here are some great ideas for what to include in your morning routine.
8. Understand The Power of Your Mind
Even though the morning routines of some of the most successful women are different, they all have one thing in common. Their morning routines all include some time spent on mindset.
So while activities like getting up early, having a workout, and eating a healthy breakfast are important, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to spend time setting up your mindset for success.
Whether you use affirmations, journalling, gratitude practice, meditation, all four, or something entirely different, focusing on your mindset is one of the biggest keys to success. Neglecting your mindset is one way to ensure that you stay stuck, and your dream career or business never comes to fruition, or at least not in the timeframe you desire.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
9. Start Listening to Your Inner Voice
You’re probably wondering how learning to listen to your inner voice will help you prepare for a career change. The thing is that building a career or business you love is about understanding what’s right for you. This is the basis of lifestyle design But for most of us, being lost or stuck can block us from even knowing what we want and what’s right for us.
Instead of looking inward, we start searching outwards and going after things that make other people happy. This will only lead you to more misery.
Instead, start learning to listen to your inner voice and guidance and block out those unhelpful thoughts that tell you to keep up with the Joneses, or to do what society or anyone else thinks you should be doing.
[Want to get better at listening to your intuition, listen to this incredible interview with Keiya Rayne for her best tips.]
10. Audit Your Relationships
Jim Rohn said it best when he said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”
This is one of my favorite quotes, but it’s easily forgotten. Are the people in your life encouraging you, supporting you, pushing you to improve yourself and be better, or do they spend their time complaining and bringing you down? The impact of who you spend your time with is lasting and can’t be underestimated.
Have you ever noticed how you feel after spending time with different people? Some people leave you feeling full of energy, positive, and like anything is possible, while others leave you feeling the complete opposite.
When it comes to launching a new career or starting a business, there will be challenges and when those challenges come up, do you want to be surrounded by people who say “You see, I knew this wasn’t possible, I told you so”… making you want to give up, or do you want to be around people who see solutions and who believe there is always a way.
I know who I’d rather have in my corner.
So, take the time now, before those challenges arise to audit your relationships and make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are where you want to be, or at least who are working towards their own goals and dreams rather than tearing down the dreams of others.
11. Focus on Your Health and Wellbeing
Often, things take more time and energy than we anticipated. When challenges arise, you need to be fighting fit to handle them. And I’m not just talking physically fit. Your mental fitness is just as important, if not more.
Take care of your health and wellbeing- eat well, be kind to yourself, sleep well. Doing all these things makes you strong enough to endure whatever a career change or launching a new business may throw at you. Whether it’s dealing with countless rejections or having to wake up extra early to study or work on your side hustle during a career transition, you’ll be ready.
No matter what the challenge is, the better you feel in yourself, the more you’ll be able to handle it.
12. Stop Being Overly Self-Critical
Our internal dialogue is always running in the background. But what does your internal dialogue say? Is it berating, abusive, or overly critical?
When you start to do things outside of your comfort zone, whether that’s going out networking to meet new people, learning a new skill, or trying to sell your services, this is when the overly self-critical voice will rear its ugly head. Telling you that you’re terrible, that you’re not good enough. Asking you why you’re only just changing careers or starting a business now at this old age!
You must learn to ignore this voice, or better still silence it, that way you can move forwards at whatever pace works for you, and more importantly, that way you won’t give up.
While many of these points may seem like they have nothing to do with preparing for a career change or starting a business, I promise you they are. These are the most common obstacles that I come across when coaching clients who are wanting to change careers or start businesses.
If you can start to handle these areas before you start trying to change your career direction, you’ll be shocked at how much better you’ll feel and you’ll become clear about what you want even faster as well.