If you’re thinking about making a career change, you may be thinking, “How can I be sure I’m doing the right thing?” The truth is that there’s no way to know for sure, but you can stack the odds in your favour by getting advice BEFORE you make the change. Everyone has an opinion, so who should you turn to for helpful advice? Don’t waste time talking to everyone and anyone. There are just four people you should speak to before making a career change.

People who have walked the exact road you want to walk

The first thing you’ll notice when you announce your pending career change is that the people with the strongest opinion will probably have absolutely no experience of doing the job you’re interested in. Despite this, they will encourage or discourage you with such passion that you may quickly forget that everything they are saying is based on assumption and hearsay.

Avoid making your decision based on this type of information.

The best way to enter a new career with realistic expectations is to speak with someone who not only works in the field and role you want to go into, but they came into it as a career changer.

They’ll be able to share the advantages, disadvantages, obstacles and opportunities unique to entering that industry from a different one, and perhaps at an older age than most people.

People doing the job you want to do and love it

How do you know you’ll enjoy the role? Get career change advice from people who do the job you’ve got your eye on and love it.

Obviously, they will tell you it’s great and encourage you to do it, but that’s not why you’re speaking to them. You’re not looking for their permission, your aim is to find out what exactly they enjoy about the role and check if those tasks, responsibilities and goals are things that also excite and inspire you.

You should also pay attention to similarities and differences between their personality and yours. If you both have the same values, interests, work ethic and outlook on life, it’s likely that you will also enjoy doing the work they love so much. If you’re polar opposites, that’s a warning sign that you may not be as compatible with the role as that person is.

best career change advice
Always get career change advice before making any big decisions, but be sure to pick wisely

People doing the job you want to do and hate it

Just as it’s important to speak to those who love your potential new career, you should also speak to those who hate it. This may sound like the craziest career change advice ever, but it’s the only way to get the unedited version of what the career you think you’ll love is really like.

Remember to enter any conversation with someone who hates your new career choice with your own agenda. You’re not seeking their opinion on if you should change careers – they will obviously advise you against going into that industry.

Instead, you should pay attention to the things they list as the disadvantages of the job. Are these things that would irritate or upset you too?

Do you have similar temperaments and values? If not, you may thrive in the role they can’t stand.

People who are where you want to be in 5 years

Finally, it’s important to look beyond people doing the job you want to do. Again, this may sound like a waste of time, but ask yourself this: what is the reason you want to go into this career field?

The chances are that you want to do it to feel happy, successful and fulfilled.

It’s therefore important to get advice from people living the happy, fulfilled and successful life you’d like to have in 5 years’ time, regardless of what they do for a living.

It’s easy to think that once you get into your dream career, life will be amazing. However, we all know people doing ‘dream’ jobs who are miserable, broke and jaded.

Outlook, attitude and mindset are key to thriving, so find people you look up to and speak to them about their attitude to work, work ethic and overall outlook on life. Emulate this and you’re more likely to enjoy success and happiness, even if you decide a career change is not the answer to your problems.

Who’s your go-to person for great career change advice? Let us know in the comments below.

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