Overcoming Career-Change Fear: 7 Steps You Can Take Now - Northwestern Mutual

Overcoming Career-Change Fear: 7 Steps You Can Take Now

Changing careers can be a nerve-wracking decision. We can help.

If you’re considering changing careers you likely have a mix of emotions: excitement (there better be) nervousness and anxiety. Relax, that’s normal.

To help you get through it, we’ve outlined seven steps you can take so you can confidently dive into a job change.

  1. Get clear on what you want from a new career. What’s your motivation for wanting to make a change? What do you hope to accomplish?
  2. Make a list of things you love to do or are passionate about. Then find careers/jobs that include these items.
  3. Ask friends and colleagues what they think your strengths are and how those strengths might translate into other career choices.
  4. Research careers based on your strengths and passions. Consider taking an online career-assessment test or enlisting the help of a career counselor to help you uncover career paths you haven’t thought about.
  5. Give different careers test drives. Know someone employed in a field you’d like to explore? Ask to shadow him or her to get a sense of what a typical day is like.
    • If not, scour your network for a connection to someone who’s working in the field.

      Ask for 30 minutes to help you understand the pros, the cons and what it takes to be successful in a career you’re considering.

    • You’ll be surprised by how easy this can be; most people love talking about themselves and what they do.
  6. Identify skill gaps and make plans to close them. You may need to take a few courses or get a certification. If it’s a new industry, you’ll have more to learn; check out open online courses you can take at leading colleges and universities.
  7. Create a business plan. If your career change means you’ll be launching your own business, validate your idea by creating a business plan. Make sure you have a handle on:
  • A well-defined concept for your business.
  • Your target market(s).
  • Your competitive advantage (pulled from market research).
  • Your goals.
  • Projected startup costs.

Are you ready for a change? Do you want to get more out of your career? Think about a career in financial planning where changing someone else’s life for the better is also life-changing for you –personally, professionally and financially.

Chat with one of our recruiters. We’ll learn more about you and what you want to achieve to see if our career is a good fit.