Tips on Changing Careers - Establishing a Workable Career Plan 7 Steps to Help You Change Careers and Establish a Workable Career Plan If you are thinking of a career change or if you are trying to lay out a tangible career plan for yourself, there are several important things to consider. Step One - Self Assessment Self-Assessment is an important first step in considering where you are currently and discovering what direction you would like to go in the future. Some questions you might ask yourself include: What are my interests and aptitudes? What are my strengths and weaknesses? Hat are my major personality traits? Do I have areas of interest outside my current field? Step Two - Consider Career Assessment Testing Have you ever considered taking a Career Assessment Test? There are many of these tests available on the Internet that can be easily accessed and completed free of charge. This can be a great starting point to help you discover areas of interest that you might not have considered before. Step Three - Set Goals and Objectives It is also important to discover your goals and objectives for the future. Not only do you need to think about where you are in your current career, but also where you want to go, and how, when, and where you would like to advance in the future. In considering your own goals and objectives, some possible questions to consider are these: Where am I in my current career? What are the possibilities for advancement? Do I want to remain in the field I am currently in, or would I really like to pursue something of greater interest? Is there something else I've always really wanted to do? If I remain in the same area, what steps will I need to take for advancement? Are there credentials or certifications that would be helpful? Do I need to upgrade my degree to a higher level? Do I need to earn a degree in a completely different field? Step Four - Make a List of Possibilities Making a list of all the possibilities that you are interested in considering is another helpful exercise. Start by listing all the jobs you might be interested in pursuing. If you have no qualifications in your areas of interest, think about what your options are for obtaining them. Can you attend classes locally or would online learning be a better choice for you? Many times your current family and work responsibilities weigh heavily on the choice for the convenience of online learning. Step Five - Research Your Favorite Careers After you have a list of possible interesting careers, choose your favorites and begin researching them. There is, of course, a wealth of knowledge on the Internet, but another great avenue is to talk to people who currently work in the field in which you are interested. You can also consider making an appointment with a career counselor at a local college or community college for assistance. Your local library is always an option -- peruse the library's collection of career guide books. Researching should give you a better perspective and understanding of the careers that interest you and what steps you will need to take in order to pursue a new career. Step Six - Narrow Your Choices Once the research phase is complete, you must narrow your choices down and consider the pros and cons of each one. This will help you to make specific choices that you can begin to pursue. Step Seven - Determine Educational Requirements Once you make the choice, it is time to begin seriously considering the education options available to you. Begin by discovering what type of major is associated with the field and consider whether a minor would be beneficial in any way. Many careers do not require a degree; you can get into certain fields with certificates or diplomas. Once you establish yourself in the area of interest, you can continue to upgrade your credentials with certifications and even earn a degree online while you continue your work.