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Career Advice

3 Ways to Plot a New Career Change

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

June 22, 2015

Does the following sound like something you've said?

I want to change jobs or industries but I don’t want to take a cut in pay. I want to move to a different part of the country – or world – but I refuse to pay for relocation. I want to improve my circumstances, but I don't want it to be uncomfortable, or hard. I know I'm smart, have proven myself and have a lot to offer, so changing my job, and my life, shouldn't be that difficult.

If so, you may want to recalibrate your expectations and plot a new map for your career change journey.

While major career and life shifts sometimes happen unintentionally and with little perceived effort or investment, the likelihood of this happening, and with the right results, is small. In fact, most times what appears as luck is actually a mix of opportunity intersecting with preparedness.

Rather than getting yourself all in a dither regarding the exact "how" to untangle your current unhappy situation, consider the actionable baby steps you can take, promptly, and just start. In other words, accept the fact that you may not find a perfect route with the perfect salary at the perfect company, but instead, you may need to make a move closer to that 'lighted path,' before you understand what the next move is, then the next, and the next.

Doing so, you will ultimately find your way to that virtual 'light at the end of the tunnel." Following are three such action steps you can do this week to gain prompt traction!

1. Avoid Paralysis Analysis By Applying to a Few Opportunities, Now. If you feel stuck in toxicity at work, then do something that feels tangible. For example, if you want a job at a specific company, send a resume there. Even getting a rejection letter (or in some cases, no response) is better than doing nothing. In other words, the energy vibe you will feel – the palpable traction – will be invigorating mentally, emotionally and even physically. The act of composing a cover letter and focusing yourself on an action that may potentially resolve your work discord is empowering.

2. Begin Reducing Your Expense Overhead. While your kneejerk reaction to taking a potential cut in pay at a new job or to pay for your own relocation expenses may be to say that there is "no way" based on your current obligations, think again. Often, there are hidden life expenses and bills you can trim to create a leaner lifestyle. For example, are you spending $200+ on cable service? Cancel it. Invest in a digital antenna and liberate yourself from the grip of monthly payments, or watch whatever is on local television and rent from Netflix at a much lower rate than cable.

3. Start Rebuilding Your Resume. Done right, this process will take weeks, maybe even a month or two, but start phase one today. This is a small step toward a large result. Go to the library or shop your Kindle bookstore for a resource on resume writing. Resume Magic by Susan Whitcomb is perhaps one of the most robust resume-teaching guides on the market. Invest in it, and start diving in. Or, hire a resume professional to strategize as your career-marketing agent. Whatever you decide, do something, today.

By taking the leap today, without the net of expectations, you may immediately begin reaping the benefits leading to a lifestyle in synchronicity with your personal lifestyle preferences.