Maybe you’ve been working in a field like academia, teaching or health care and you’re burned out, or perhaps you are a longtime stay-at-home parent getting back into the workforce. You might have been working in a sector like retail or food service and you’re looking for something with more reliable hours and better benefits. Wherever you are coming from, there are plenty of opportunities to launch a second career in the business world, and the tips below can help you get started.
If you’re thinking about changing industries and job descriptions but you don’t have a clear idea yet of exactly what you want to do, you might want to consider visiting a career counselor. The business world is a big one, and becoming an actuary in an insurance company is very different from pivoting into managing the creatives at an advertising agency. A career counselor can help you get a better idea of your options and how well your interests and aptitudes would fit in various positions.
Returning to School
The possible necessity of going to college can keep many people from pursuing a better job. College is a big investment of time and money, but it also can mean a higher salary and a more rewarding career path. Furthermore, a degree is a requirement for many jobs. Keep in mind that in addition to federal loans, grants and scholarships, you may also be able to take out a private student loan to fund the high tuition costs. If you have a good credit score, you may be offered an excellent interest rate.
You should follow your dreams, but know that the path will take some work, and intention. And when you change careers, you’ll need to find a way to market yourself to employers while potentially competing with people who have more experience than you. This is the time to think about what skills you have developed that you can transfer into your new position. These may be hard skills, such as certain certifications or qualifications or the ability to write computer programs or do other complex tasks.
However, don’t sell yourself short on the soft skills that you have. You may be surprised at how far the ability to do things like communicate well by writing or speaking or to problem-solve can take you. Your challenge will be to think of specific examples of how you have used these soft skills that you can describe to your potential employers.
Your Own Business
Many people who transition into business as a second career do so by setting up their own venture. You certainly don’t have to do this, and some people have no desire at all to be their own boss. There are disadvantages, such as never feeling quite as financially secure as you might as an employee, but there are also advantages, including flexibility and the possibility of making far more money than you ever could as an employee. Depending on your skillset, this could be the right move for you, but be sure that you do plenty of research and take all the necessary steps, such as a writing a business plan and investigating your competition, before you launch.