I hated my job as a call center agent. The one company I worked at was an outsourcing company, and most clients are from Australia. If I’m Australian, then it’s not a problem, but I’m not. So I struggled a lot to understand their accent initially and had people scream at me every morning over the phone.

Not mentioning the long night shift and low payment, I just told myself if I didn’t get out of this field, I’d end up being miserable and depressed. I’ve done the job for about nine months at the time, and I never liked the idea that I should be just doing one type of occupation.

Along the way, I’ve learned that changing your career path is easier when you are stuck in one job for too long. A friend of mine said, “move out before you hit the comfort zone because once you reach it, you’ll think more about settling rather than seeing what’s out there.”

These steps are the ones that I always pull every time I need to switch my career path. Please know that while this always works for me, it may not work for you. But still, giving it a try won’t be such a huge loss anyway.

Set a Deadline & Stick with It

When I wanted to move out from being an English Tutor to a career in Digital Marketing or Social Media Marketing, I made a conscious decision and deadline when will I reach the goal.

At that time, I aimed for a particular job type, a Pinterest Virtual Assistant. I loved the platform, and once I heard that you could make money by just pinning all day, I went all for it.

Researching for at least 2 hours per day was one of my routines. I’d follow lots and lots of bloggers and analyze their content patterns on their Pinterest account.

I also deep-dived into any platforms outside Pinterest that people use, such as Tailwind and Canva. Of course, I still didn’t know what I was doing for the first couple of months. I experimented with different methods I got from other bloggers and even created an official website to test it all out.

On the other hand, I set a deadline and make sure I was on track. Once I figured how it worked and got the big picture out of the platform, I started pitching and applying for jobs. Within six months, I made it to another field, which is social media marketing.

Having a deadline is crucial because it pushes you to keep going, primarily when your environment doesn’t support you or anyone who understands what you are trying to achieve.

Ask for Help & Reach Out to Strangers

Though I’ve done it multiple times, there were undoubtedly still moments where I felt frustrated and worse, stuck, and I think this is where most people give up because they couldn’t “figure it out.”

The best thing you can do is to ask for help. Reaching out to strangers on the internet. While finding that help might be tricky, especially when you have no one around you who works in the area you want to get in, here are things that you can do:

  • Find bloggers who are experts in your chosen area and shot them an email. Please keep in mind that most of the people you are messaging will not get back to you, and that’s okay; it’s normal. But trust me, one will eventually respond.
  • Find the experts from Linkedin. It’s a powerful platform to connect with other people professionally. I usually go on the “search” bar and type any field that I’m interested in and write to some people that seem to know well about it. From there, I’d send a request to connect and drop them a quick message.
  • Lastly, find them on Instagram. Yup, I’m not joking. My first job in social media marketing was from connecting with a person who happens to have the same hobby as mine, which is traveling. You never know.

It’s also essential to understand that most people you reach out will not get back to you and shouldn’t feel discouraged by this.

But trust me, if you are genuine enough and care about the person too, not just focusing too much on getting advice or suggestions from them, then there must be someone who’ll connect to you.

Work on Your Resume

Feel like you are ready and have enough knowledge? Then it’s time to start working on your resume.

At this point, you should have the experience and your portfolio fills with the various experiments you were doing for the last six months or so.

When I wanted to work as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant, I created a new business account on Pinterest and ran it for six months to have a new website and tried blogging. It was fun, and I treated it like an actual project. I wasn’t only reading some guides or tutorials on “how to do it,” I jumped into it and experimenting with different ways all the time.

So when the deadline hit, I knew what to put on my resume and felt pretty confident with those skills.

Work on Your Mindset

Your mindset is everything. It’s the only thing that plays a huge role whether you’ll successfully switch to your career goal or not. I was super skeptical when the first time I heard it, but then in time, I read some success stories or even advice that I got from my mentor is pretty much the same, which is working on your mindset first is as important as learning all those new things in the first time.

This activity can also boost your confidence when you start applying later. It helped me to feel fully prepared. I want to write down some pessimistic thoughts which told me it’s impossible and “who am I to deserve such a job?”. This voice would come up a lot, especially when I felt in doubt.

But telling yourself every day that you are good enough for the new job you aim for is helpful. Before you knew it, you’ll adapt to that new belief, and from there on, it’s only about time until you get your dream job.

Start Applying

My friends who came to me to ask about switching their careers always have this doubt at the end. Even after learning everything, they feel like they aren’t ready or insecure that they aren’t qualified yet.

That’s why before applying or even searching for the job, you need to set your mindset right first. I’ve had people who gave up because they couldn’t bring themselves to get over that fear so many “ifs” and “but I can’t…” which hold them back from clicking that “apply” button.

If you think about it, you have nothing to lose, even if things don’t work out. Yes, you may lose those times you used to learn the new skill, but even if you don’t end up with any job offers after a year, you’ll then figure out that it might not be for you, and if you want to start a different career path, you already know what’s the steps to take.

When you’ve done the work beforehand and are confident with the new skills you have, applying for the new role will be easier.

While LinkedIn works best for most people in getting a new job, I also suggest trying other social media platforms such as Instagram, although this approach mainly works best for you who wants to start with freelancing.

Final Thoughts:

It takes a lot of work and determination to bring yourself into a new career path that’s completely different from your current job that you’ve been doing for the past three years.

It’s scary as heck. I remember that feeling so well, but looking back, I always see it as something worth trying. It’s not a waste of time because I could gain a new skill & get more money with a new job role, or if not, I met new people and built great friendships.

If you’ve been thinking of switching a career or even in the middle of the journey already, have some patience and, more importantly, have faith that things will work out somehow, even if it’s not exactly how you planned it before.