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You’ve been working in the same field for years, but are feeling burned out in your current role and wonder if something more fulfilling is available for you. Before you take the plunge into a new career, here are some steps to take when considering what happens next.

  1. Embrace change.

    Although you may be safe in your comfort zone, you experience daily work fatigue and can’t shake the feeling that you’re missing out on a new career opportunity. Change can be scary, especially in uncertain times. Embracing change and moving in a new direction can be rewarding and renew excitement for a job you haven’t felt in a long time.

  2. Evaluate your situation.

    Assess your current situation, such as your interests, talents, skills, and work history. Document what’s working, what isn’t, and what you’d like to be doing that you aren’t currently doing now. Determine if your current skill set could translate into another field, job, or personal business.

  3. Visualize success.

    Before you dive into the logistics of how to make a career change, evaluate what you think success is. Imagine what an average day in your ideal job would look like and how it makes you feel. What does your environment resemble, who are you interacting with, and what types of activities fill your day? Document what would make you feel fulfilled in your ideal job.

  4. Plan your strategy.

    You know what you want, but now you need to identify how to get there. Whether you’re looking to pursue a new job, a new field entirely, or start your own business, you need to devise a plan for next steps and milestones to reach in order to achieve your goals. Perhaps you need to earn a master’s degree or certificate to secure your ideal job. Micro-credential programs provide you with additional technical skills quickly, which may give you a competitive edge in the job market. Determine your milestones and 2-4 steps to help you reach each milestone, including a realistic timeframe to achieve your goals.

  5. Reach out to your connections.

    Network with your support system and make them aware of your new desired career direction. Ask them for feedback on your decision, and see if they have any contacts they can put you in touch with to propel you forward. Make sure they are up-to-speed on your desired role, your strengths, and current skill set.    

  6. Seek a mentor.

    Find someone you admire or a person who provides you with reliable guidance and advice. This person doesn’t necessarily need to be in your field, but someone who performs work that interests you. Perhaps this person has also made a career change and has already experienced the fear, excitement, and uncertainty that go along with seeking a new opportunity. Interacting with a mentor may provide you with the clarity and confidence you need to make your vision of a career change a reality.

  7. Take the next step.

    You’ve made a lot of considerations, done your research, sought out the advice of a mentor, and networked your plan and strategy to your support system. Now it’s time to trust that if you’re still feeling excited about a new opportunity at this point, it’s time to take that leap forward. Remember that so many notable people in business also had to overcome their fears of starting something new. When facing your fears, remember this quote from author Roy T. Bennett: “It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”   

RELATED: Can a Graduate Degree Help Me Make a Career Transition? 

If you’re looking to further your education, check out Peterson’s college or graduate school search to find the perfect program for you.