If you need to prepare for a career change to IT in 2021, these 5 tips will get you started quickly.
We’re already a few weeks into the new year and maybe you want this year to be the one where you transition into a better career. Maybe the pandemic has you worried and you’re not sure if you should start.
I encourage you not to let go of your goal and consider these 5 tips to prepare for a career change to IT. Sometimes, we just need to get started with something in order to get more motivation to do more.
Think of it this way. If you don’t start, it will never start.
Make up your mind to start something that moves you closer to your goal everyday and you’ll be surprised how far you get in a short amount of time.
Here is the summary of the 5 tips to prepare for a career change to IT
- Be Bold with Your Goal
- Set Specific Goals
- Invest in Relevant Courses
- Just Start. Don’t Procrastinate.
- Network with Others
Now, let’s review each one in more details.
Tip #1: Be Bold with Your Goal
It is said that “fortune favors the bold” and I am inclined to agree.
Every time I have been too scared to dream big, I ended up small wins. However, I surpass my own expectations every time I have dared to dream big.
You have to be unapologetically bold about your career goals this year.
When you are planning to make a career change, you have to set high expectations.
So, my first tip to prepare for a career change to IT is to be bold with your goal. Don’t aim for the easily achievable goals. Dream big and win.
Tip #2: Set Specific Goals
After making up your mind to be bold and set high expectations, you then need to get specific.
You need to take some time to think about and write down your specific goals for the year. You will not be able to measure your progress against your goals if they are not specific.
So, think of at least 3 things you want to achieve this year that are related to your career transition journey.
Do you want to attend a certain number of networking events?
Do you want to apply to a certain number of jobs?
Do you want to learn some new skills for your new career path?
Whatever goals you want to achieve, write them down. Then you want to post them somewhere you will see them every day.
Every time you look at your goals, ask yourself what you are doing to achieve those goals. This should act as a good reminder to get you back on track if you get distracted with other items.
So, the next tip to prepare for a career change to IT is to set specific, measurable goals that you can track.
Tip #3: Invest in Relevant Courses
IT is a pretty technical field. So, if you are transitioning to IT from another field, chances are you would need to acquire new skills and knowledge. The good thing is that you can acquire new skills and knowledge from various websites.
Once you identify your area of career interest, you need to invest time and maybe some money into relevant courses that teach you the skills you need.
However, it’s not enough to enroll in courses if you don’t plan to spend time learning the information. So, make sure you plan properly before enrolling in paid courses to avoid wasting money.
Below are some sites that offer courses (including FREE ones).
If you are interested in coding, you can also check out this list of 15 places to learn coding FREE.
The next tip is to invest time and resources to learn all you can about your field of interest.
Tip #4: Just Start. Don’t procrastinate.
The IT field is also quite broad, so you may find it a bit challenging to identify which specific area to focus on.
My recommendation is for you to just pick one area of interest and start learning all that you can. If you really do not like the area you’ve chosen after giving it a fair shot, then move on to the next area.
The idea here is to avoid analysis paralysis where you do nothing. It’s better to start and realize you don’t like something. At least you would have learned something new that you can add to your resume.
By the time you do this a few times, you should have an idea of what really interests you. I caution you to try making strategic selections based on your goals and interests. You don’t want to spend the whole year trying out different IT career paths.
The next tip is to just start! Don’t wait for the perfect time because there may never be a perfect time. Start today.
Tip #5: Network with Others
Networking is absolutely key in any career change journey. If you are planning to move to an IT career, you need to network with others in the field you are considering.
Search LinkedIn for people with profiles that are similar to what you are looking for and reach out to them to network. The goal is to get insights on that particular field from them and not to ask them for a job.
The more people you add to your network, the more clarity you get around your area of interest based on your conversations with them.
Also, reach out to family and friends and let them know about your career change plans. You never know who might have a contact that can help you.
The key here is to avoid planning your career change in isolation and instead work with others. This can make the journey feel less frustrating.
The last tip to prepare for a career change to IT is to network with people in your field of interest. Don’t forget to reach out to those you already know as well.
If you plan to switch to an IT career in 2021, the time to start is now. The first month of the new year is almost over, so you need to actively begin strategizing about how to go about the career change. The 5 tips that were shared above should help you get started.
What are your career goals for 2021 and what is stopping you from moving forward?
You can also check out these other related posts.
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- Project Management Career and the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
- 5 Essential Soft Skills in the Workplace for Career Success