Most have careers they have dedicated considerable time to building, but only a small number get a sense of fulfillment from it.

The rest do so to chase dollars, only to find their lack of drive is preventing them from becoming successful in their chosen field. If they force it to climb the corporate ladder, they end up miserable as a result, as they feel stuck by all the money they would have to give up to start over.

If you plan your escape properly, though, you won’t have to endure a hard landing when changing careers.

John Kleinheinz┬áspent much of his life running a hedge fund, only to find that trading didn’t speak to his soul.

Executing his escape plan in 2012, he wound down his firm to give himself more time to learn his new trade: commercial photography.

Today, he enjoys the same level of financial success he did as a trader, but he is much happier and has a life/work balance he could only dream of having in his past career.

Looking to change your career today? This blog post will help you take the steps you need to make to get it done.

1) Seek out what actually piques your interest

Don’t burn the boats right away like some gurus suggest, as doing so before you are ready can be risky. Before handing in your resignation letter, cobble together every last scrap of free time you have and tirelessly research career paths that electrify you.

Get a notebook and dedicate a page to each potential profession. Come up with every positive and negative you can think of, then compare them against each other until two or three are left standing.

Examine these ones in even deeper detail by meeting people in these lines of work. After doing your homework over the course of several months, you’ll have the answers you are looking for.

2) Acquire the skills you’ll need

Found a career you want to pursue? Chances are, there are skills you’ll need to learn before any employer or clients will take you seriously.

Online sites like Skillshare can help you sharpen your soft skills, while ones that require professional accreditation will require that you take classes from an established body.

This will monopolize your time over the ensuing months, so take measures to clear your schedule so you can give all your attention to the lessons you will need to learn.

3) Network as if your life depended upon it

A big hurdle to changing careers is the lack of people you’ll know within the industry you are targeting.

Rectify this issue by volunteering for events that are related to the field you want to infiltrate, sign up for conferences and meet as many attendees as possible, and contact relevant people where you live and take them out to lunch at a moderately expensive joint.

At every turn, you’ll meet individuals who can help, so talk to as many of them as possible. Eventually, you’ll find a mentor who will go to bat for you.

Add value to their lives, and they will be able to provide you with the unbiased feedback you’ll need and contacts who could end up being your ‘in’.

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