When it comes to improving myself and being a happier and healthier version of me, I’d rather start late than never start at all.
So that’s what I’m doing now.
I’ve recently changed careers.
In my 13+ years of working in the “real world”, I’ve held various corporate marketing jobs.
I enjoy marketing because it allows me to use my writing and creativity to help businesses increase revenue and get more customers.
I want to help business owners achieve more revenue and get more customers by creating effective and useful social media marketing and Web content.
However, just starting and running my own business is not enough for me, because I feel like I can help even more people with my knowledge and experience.
That’s why, in addition to working as a social media content writer, I also work part-time as a line cook at two restaurants.
Why do I work part-time when I also work full-time?
I love to cook, learn, and be part of a team. And that’s why I enjoy working in a professional kitchen.
Sure, it’s not glamorous and the hours are long. The pay is typically not as high as other occupations such as a doctor or lawyer.
However, everybody has to eat, right?
And as long as people need to eat, then they will have other people cook for them.
That means I’ll be able to find future employment opportunities at other restaurants.
Let’s face the facts.
Layoffs, re-orgs, and relentless cost reductions are a cold, hard reality that sooner or later every one of us will face sometime in our careers.
That’s why I prepare myself for the worst by gaining practical experience and knowledge in an industry that will always need qualified individuals who can cook delicious food.
So that’s how I changed careers from corporate marketing into social media content writing and professional cooking.
How will you change careers and find your path to success and happiness?
Keep reading, I have some useful content that can help you do that.
How to change careers in 5 easy steps and find a career you love
5. Start a side hustle
A side hustle is a project that you undertake on your own time, outside of your regular day job (the day job you want to quit…but can’t. Not now, at least).
Since you will be working on this project in your off-hours, then it makes sense to choose a project that you are interested in pursuing and is fun.
Why should your side hustle be something fun?
Because if your side hustle is something you hate, then you won’t do it. Or you won’t do it to the best of your ability.
My side hustle that I undertook earlier this year was freelance writing.
Specifically, I wanted to write social media and blog posts for other businesses that hired freelance writers to assist in their marketing. I’m growing the business and learning a lot while also helping fellow business owners get more revenue and gain more customers.
What can you do as a side hustle?
The first thing you need to ask yourself when choosing a side hustle is:
“What kind of work would I be willing to do for free?”
This is a great question to ask yourself because chances are…you WILL be working for free anyway when you start your side hustle. That’s because you have no little to no experience, knowledge, or skills in the new undertaking.
But hey, you need to start somewhere, right?
However, do not make the common mistake of believing that you should be making a lot of money from your side hustle immediately without putting in a lot of work first.
Remember, your side hustle should not be about making money. At first.
Who knows, your side hustle may in fact turn into something lucrative that you built yourself. But you can’t get to that point if you don’t even TRY.
The truth about a side hustle
FACT: You might lose money in your side hustle.
Equipment, materials, and other expenses may be necessary to get your side hustle off the ground. If you’re not careful, you may squander quite a bit of money.
But what you lose in money, you will gain tenfold in knowledge and experience.
And those are two things that all the money in the world can never buy. You need to earn it.
And you will…by working your side hustle.
4. Save your money
The best case scenario to successfully change careers is one where you do not lose all your money in the process.
However, you may not have this safety cushion. Sometimes, you can’t wait and you have to act.
There may come a time where you will need to leave your current job in order to make your new business a success.
And that may entail an extended time period where you will not be making much, if any money.
However, if you saved your money and didn’t spend it on frivolous items that are not related to achieving your dream, then you may have enough financial security to launch you into your next career path.
When you begin your side hustle, you will naturally start spending less money on unnecessary things that take away time and resources from your side hustle.
This means less unnecessary spending.
And spending less money on things you don’t need makes good financial sense, regardless if you’re trying to change careers or not.
3. Do your homework
If you want to change careers, it is a good idea to spend some time researching the new industry and the costs associated with making the change.
Some of the financial questions to consider when planning to change careers would be:
- Do you need to go back to school and get more education?
- Does the new career pay as much as your current one?
- If not, then will the new career cover your expenses?
These are questions you need to ask yourself and look into.
Granted, you will not know every cost associated with switching careers, however you should be able to get a general idea and anticipate what costs you’ll need to bear in the future.
2. Don’t be afraid to fail
- Ever try do something new in your life?
- How did that go?
- Were you good at this new thing?
- Did you know all the ins and outs of it and could you do it perfectly from the beginning?
Chances are, you probably were not great at that new endeavor when you first tried it. However, you got back on your grizzy and kept trying to improve until you finally did improve.
And by practicing, you gained more knowledge and experience in the new activity until it was no longer new and you could perform it over and over again perfectly.
And that’s why I don’t believe in failure. Because it doesn’t exist.
Failure is simply practice for success.
And nobody cares about practice. They only care about The Game.
Your side hustle is basically all practice.
You are only doing it to gain knowledge and experience so that when it really does count, you’ll perform flawlessly.
1. Never quit on your dream
There’s only one way you can never achieve your dream.
And that’s if you quit trying to achieve your dream.
Because if you continue trying to achieve your dream, then you will eventually achieve it.
Sure, it may take you a year or two or 30, but you will get there. Eventually.
And when you finally achieve your dream, then you will be thankful that you didn’t quit trying to achieve your dream.
Because then you would not have achieved your dream.
Usually when something goes wrong, I try to fix it.
And that’s what I did with my life.
It felt broken, so I took the steps to fix it, and I couldn’t be happier.
That’s because I’m working and doing the things that make me happy: writing and cooking.
In order to change careers, you need to first ask yourself what will make you happy.
Once you have your answer, then you can follow these steps to achieve success in a career you love.
Thinking about switching careers?
What do you want to do for the rest of your life?
What are you doing to achieve your dream?
Let’s talk about it in the Comments below.
Here’s your chance to write and help others with your knowledge and experience.
James K. Kim
James "Jim" Kim is a commercial real estate agent with Cushman & Wakefield / Pyramid Brokerage Company in the Capital Region of New York, specializing in retail, office, and industrial tenant and landlord representation.