Years ago, it was standard for adults to set out on one career path and stick to it for the entire duration of their working lives. Those days have come and gone, though, and it’s highly uncommon to meet someone who hasn’t made a career change in some form or another.
You might be faced with making a career change unexpectedly, like if you’re laid off or have to move for family reasons. Or, you might decide that the career path you originally set off on isn’t what you thought it would be. Either way, there’s one trait that will help you make the change with ease: flexibility. The important thing to remember when making a career change is that it’s rarely about what you know. For example, you might learn a sales company’s computer program inside and out, but if you’re not sociable and persistent, you’re not going to succeed in the field of sales. What we’re saying is, it’s more about your personal qualities and how you can transition them from on role to another.
Flexibility is key. Let’s look at an example. Maybe you worked as a teacher, helping young children learn to read and write. After a few years, however, you realized your lifetime earning potential was severely limited in comparison to other jobs and decided to pursue a career change. A position as an advisor at a higher-education university might be just the right fit. While you may not know the ins and outs of the university education system, your transferrable skills include working one-on-one with students and multi-tasking.
You also probably have a great deal of patience. It’s your job to explain to your potential employer how your core skills will allow you to be successful in your new position—how your flexibility will be an important asset. Another important way to use your flexibility to your advantage is to pursue multiple careers at once. Sound crazy? In fact, it’s more common than ever for people to hold “side jobs” in addition to their full time career. Maybe you’d like to earn a little extra money to achieve your financial goals faster. Maybe you need a creative outlet you don’t have in your structured 9-to-5. Whatever the reason, if you’re flexible enough to pursue a side job, you might find it highly rewarding, both personally and financially.