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Part of Western Governors University

June 18, 2019

Student Success

5 tips for a successful career change at 20.

Woman holding tablet | Career change

You’re in your 20s! Now is supposed to be the time of self-discovery, adventure, and excitement. But for many people, being in your 20s can be full of stress and anxiety as you try to navigate your future.

How do you know if you need a career change? If you’re not fulfilled with your job, are ready to actually start a career, or just have no idea what you’re doing with your life, you’ll want to keep reading.

If you’re older than 29, we still have your back. Check out how you can change your career at any age, with these tips and the right education.

Your 20s can be the perfect time to take the plunge, and change your career. Whether you’ve gone to school and aren’t fulfilled with the outcome, or you’re in the middle of school and worried that your dream job isn’t at the other end of your current degree, or haven’t done any schooling and think that it could be the first step towards your future, we can help you have a successful transition into the right career.

Here are 5 tips that will help you be prepared for a career change, that could ultimately help you create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

 

Career change to teaching

1. Understand what a career change will entail.

 

A career change isn’t just deciding that you want a different job title. There is likely to be a new set of competition if you're looking to change careers. Don’t underestimate the kind of competition you may be facing, and prepare yourself to get in the ring with the best of them. You can be your own worst enemy when it comes changing careers, so you want to make sure you are prepared mentally for the transition that lies ahead, and the steps you'll need to take to be prepared.

 

Consider the shift in money that you might have to deal with as a part of a career change. Get your financial ducks in a row to make sure you’re prepared for what a career change could do to your lifestyle.

It’s also wise to think about how skills transfer between careers in any field. Take a deep look at your resume. Make a list of the highly transferable skills you have that will work in any field, like communication or leadership. This will help you feel confident about the process overall and prepare you for the next step.

 

2. Figure out what you're passionate about.

 

You’ll need to know what career you want to move to in order to successfully make the change. When you’re in your 20s, it can feel like there are a million paths to take, and it can be hard to know what you’re truly passionate about. Many people worry that making the wrong decision now will leave them in a career they hate, with no way out.

That doesn’t have to be the case. Put some work in now to figure out what you’re passionate about. Look at your hobbies and what you do in your spare time, and consider how they could be turned into a career. This step is crucial for taking the right steps as you change careers.

Take career aptitude tests to gauge your skills. Look back to your high school education and think about what classes you enjoyed. Research the careers you find interesting to learn about the daily requirements so you can decide if they sound exciting to you. Remember that not every aspect of every job will always be fun, exciting, and exactly what you want. But the point is that your career should have elements that you love and are passionate about, and can look forward to every day.

 

Two women meeting and networking

3. Utilize experts and network.

 

While it may be cliche, sometimes finding your dream job isn’t about what you know, but who you know. Making a career change should entail talking to experts in the field, getting their advice, learning from their experience and tips, and finding a mentor. Asking if you can job shadow someone for a day is a great way to get your foot in the door with a professional. This allows you to really see what they do on a day-to-day basis to evaluate if it’s the right job for you, and have a contact when you’re job hunting.

An expert in your potential field can help answer questions about educational requirements, job expectations, the pros and cons of their line of work, and more. It’s great to have someone actually in the field to help you really consider if it’s the right fit for you, and show you what you need to do to get there. And the right people in your network can be a key tool as you work to progress in your new career. Networking is a crucial element of career progression, so you may as well start as early as possible to make those valuable connections!

 

4. Get the right skills by attending school.

 

Once you’ve decided on the right career path for your future, it’s time to take the leap. Getting your education from WGU is a great fit for business, IT, health, and teaching careers. The programs at WGU allow you to continue working at your current job while you gain the skills for your career change. You’ll be able to continue to make money and manage your responsibilities, while preparing for an exciting new career and future.

The right degree program will also be very tailored to your needs. If you’ve already attended school in some form, you don’t need to spend time exploring your options or taking general courses. You can get right to work at WGU on your specific career choice, and get done faster so your new life can start.

Most jobs favor candidates who have a degree, and some will even require a bachelor’s degree for consideration. Furthering your education is always a good idea, especially when you want to get started in a new career where you may lack work experience. Having a degree to back you up will show that you’re serious about this path, and that you have the knowledge required to be successful.

 

Wrapping bandage on woman

5. Go for your new career.

Once you have the education and tools to get started on your new career path, it’s time to go for it! Don’t hesitate to apply to lots of jobs; most interviewers are looking for someone who has the basic skills, which your education can help you acquire, and the right attitude and passion for the job.

Utilize your network as you search for jobs, and rely on connections with friends, colleagues, and mentors to help you learn about opportunities that could be perfect for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let people know about your education and your goals to see if they can help.

Your 20s can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be filled with career-stress. You can get on the path to the career of your dreams instead of wasting time, energy, money, and years of your life on a job you don’t love. You don’t have to wait or be afraid; your time is now. With WGU, you can make a career change with confidence and start creating your bright future.

 

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