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How to Adapt to a New Career Path

Hub for Jobs | Find the Right Job Vacancies in Nigeria

The most constant thing in life is change. At some point in our career, we may need to switch jobs or career paths to accommodate our career goals and life visions. Changes that happen in our lives also affect our careers – relocation, childbirth, higher level of education, and so on. With these changes come new work practices and life patterns. While the onset of life after such changes often meets us excited about the endless list of possibilities that come with moving to a new home or career path, when we realize that the new may just have to become the norm, the what ifs start to trickle in, and we are filled with dread on how to adapt.

Adapting to a new career opportunity can be challenging, especially if it is on a different and unrelated career path from where you used to be. In this article, we share some guidelines on how to adapt to a new career path or opportunity with ease.

Reasons Why People Switch Career Paths

<<< Lack of Fulfillment

This reason is common among people who have attained the peak of their career but have not yet found fulfillment. While some people find their life purpose early in life, some find it much later. People who find their life purpose late often have to switch career paths to align with their new vision.

<<< Wrong Career Choices

It is a common occurrence for young school leavers to make a few wrong career choices before finding the right career path. This means they are constantly hopping from one job opportunity and career path to another. Although job hopping can make it even harder to settle down after finding the right career path, adapting is easier when your career path aligns with your passion and resonates with your values.

<<< Sticky Situations

While we all make plans to have control of our lives, we cannot deny that sometimes circumstances and situations may put a hamper on those plans and alter them. Some people switch career paths because they were relieved of their old jobs and the only ones they came across were from different career paths. When life happens and you don’t have a plan B, the available becomes desirable. This is also the reason why a lot of people go into freelancing and entrepreneurship.

<<< The Desire for a Change

Another reason why people switch career paths or opportunities is because of boredom or trauma. Some people like to try their hands at new things every once in a while and can easily get bored working in the same industry for a long time. Some people, however, just got out of a toxic work environment and need a fresh start to fully recover – career experts recommend switching career paths to accelerate healing.

How to Adapt to a New Career Path

>>> Do your research

Switching to a new career path comes with lots of uncertainties. You can get rid of those uncertainties by carrying out extensive research on the career path you are about to venture into. You should consult practicing professionals in that field and ask relevant questions regarding the job requirements, responsibilities, and expectations. Before getting into a new career path, you should arm yourself with all the necessary information concerning the career opportunities in it. The transition would be easier and you would have a softer landing when you already have an insight into how experts in the career path work, and enough background knowledge of the job itself.

           Proper preparation dispels anxiety and reduces the risks of errors.

>>> Keep an open mind

While carrying out your research, you will come across a lot of information – some may be true, some may be false. Although the research is to help you know what to expect, you must realize that work experiences differ. When getting into a new career path you should keep an open mind, and be willing to learn, unlearn and relearn.

A new career path is an unfamiliar terrain and you may be tempted to take on too much work and copy other people’s work patterns in a bid to settle in quicker. Unfortunately, that would only place you under pressure and mental stress. While you should learn from other people’s work, be innovative, and find what works for you uniquely. A secret to help you adapt to a new career path faster is to take a step at a time – give yourself time to grow and be ready to learn on the job.

>>> Develop your skill set

In the labor market, building authority in whatever field or career you are in is key to maintaining relevance. You can build authority by constantly developing your skill set – always be on the hunt for opportunities to perfect your existing skills and acquire new ones. When getting into a new career path, you must develop the relevant skills needed for you to be efficient. E-learning platforms like Coursera are great for skill acquisition – YouTube videos can be very helpful too.

>>> Seek Mentorship

Life is easier when you navigate through with someone you trust who has more experience. It is also the same when getting into a new career path. You can seek mentorship by reaching out to people in your network who are already successful in that career path, and requesting mentorship or offering to job shadow them. Mentorship also comes in handy if you experience any hitches on your new career journey.

>>> Set new goals

Goals give us something to look forward to every day and often serve as motivation on our most unproductive days. Career goals especially, guide our work decisions and transitions. Starting a new career path means that you have to revisit your previously set goals and make adjustments as necessary. Your new goals should be in line with what is attainable in your new career path.

>>> Connect with others on the same or a similar career path.

The importance of being part of a community cannot be overemphasized. Communities provide you with people who can relate to your struggles, and offer helpful advice to help your transition go smoother. You can form your private community by reaching out to people and building solid networks, or join already established communities on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp.

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

Tony Robbins.
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Okwanuzor

Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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