Feature Image by Christin Hume

After thousands of dollars spent on your college education and years of working your way up the career ladder, you’ve discovered that your chosen field isn’t a good fit. Like a breakup or the ending of a chapter, starting a new career can be difficult and scary, but it can also be an empowering experience that allows you to find a more authentic career, or in the words of Dr. Seuss, a more “you-er you.”

Not sure where to begin? Here are five helpful tips to switch your career no matter how far along you are.

Take time to get to know yourself again
If you’re planning on changing careers, you’re probably thinking, “Well, what do I do now?” Take time to think about what makes you tick and what you’re passionate about. What do you love to do? What are you good at? What work would you do if there was no pay involved? Reflect on the answers to these questions and focus your career path based on that.

Research, but don’t stay stagnant
Once you have a career path in mind, begin to research various roles that align with what you want to do. Research the job market, the required skills, the average pay for your area, and the demand for and availability of the job. Once you’ve researched enough, start acting on it.

Talk to someone in the field you’re interested in
There’s nothing like talking to an expert in a field. Research and inquire within your own network to see if you know anyone who works in your desired field. Even if you don’t know someone personally in the career direction you’re headed, perhaps someone you know does. Ask questions. Shadow someone. Network. Make cold calls and send emails. Talk to people. It’s a great way to get a running start down a new career path.

Take a class
A career move is going to require action. It’s best to live like a sponge — soaking up everything around you and learning all you can. One great way to learn more about a career path is by taking a class, whether that’s online or at your local community college. It’ll help you learn more about that particular job market, role responsibilities, and the requirements necessary to enter the field.

Enlist the help of others
Changing your career can be a daunting task. Instead of trying to do it alone, get people around you to help like career coaches, job recruiters, and other people who are in the midst of changing careers like you.

xx, The FabFitFun Team