Make This List + Get Answers To These 4 Questions Before Making a Career Change

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Playing Should I Change Jobs? An Expert's Tips For Determining Whether It's The Right Time For a Career Change
Should I Change Jobs? An Expert's Tips For Determining Whether It's The Right Time For a Career Change Aired May 21, 2019

If you're not satisfied with your career, you're far from the only one. In fact, a recent report shows that 70% of people are unhappy at work.

So, how do you get the job you really want?

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You can make a career change at any age, says Ken Coleman, author of The Proximity Principle.

"The proximity principle says that in order to do what I want to do with my career, I have to be around the people that are doing that and in the places where it is happening," Ken says, "because that's where opportunity lives."

And whether you're just entering the workforce or you want to switch careers, "proximity is powerful," the author says.

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Before you put the proximity principle into action, Ken suggests doing a simple exercise. Make a list with two columns: what you do best (your talents or skills) and what you like to do most (your passions).

This should give you clarity — which is the first step in relieving the fear and doubt that stops many people from making a change mid-career, according to the expert.

Fear of financial failure and doubt about your path are common, he says. By using the proximity principle, you can begin the process of transitioning, risk-free.

You don't necessarily need to take a pay cut, according to Ken. You're working toward a new path, but it doesn't have to happen overnight. "This is a transition over time," he says.

After you've narrowed your focus using your list of skills and passions, the next step is to surround yourself with people who work in your field of interest. Sit down with anyone you can, and have them answer these four basic questions:

Proximity Principle In Action
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1. What are the different types of positions in that field?

2. What do they pay?

3. What qualifications do you need?

4. What's it going to cost you in terms of time and money?

If you can't meet face-to-face, podcasts, books and online videos are all great options for learning more about a potential field.

"When people begin to do that research and then get around other people that are doing [what they want to do], it takes the fear and doubt away," Ken says.

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