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4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Switching Careers

It can be frightening to think about switching careers, especially if the change is major. Lydia Dishman recently interviewed several professionals who've made a successful shift in a piece for Fast Company; inspired by their advice, here are four questions you should ask yourself if you're interested in following suit.

  1. Would I be happier in a startup environment? Angel investor Joanne Wilson, better known as Gotham Gal, recommends that would-be entrepreneurs spend time at co-working spaces and incubators nearby to meet and talk with entrepreneurs. Pitch events are also worth attending, as they can lead to professional contacts, collaborations and a closer look at the struggle of building a company from the ground up.
  2. Can my network lead me to my dream job? Sites like LinkedIn make it even easier to leverage personal and professional connections. Can your friends, former colleagues or fellow alumni help you connect the dots?
  3. Would I enjoy working for a nonprofit? If so, consultant Alice Korngold recommends skills-based volunteering, reading relevant books and serving on a nonprofit board.
  4. Should I head back to school? Obtaining a graduate degree, especially from a program designed for working professionals, can help you sharpen your skills without monopolizing your time. Dishman outlined the story of a print journalist who earned a master's degree online and simultaneously took on freelance work to build her digital portfolio.

Have you successfully pulled off a major career change? How did you do it?

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(Photo credit: Muhammad Haroon/Flickr)

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