Thinking it’s time for a career change? Gone are the days of spending a lifetime – or maybe even a decade – at the same job. If you are looking to pivot to something new, this is the guide for you.

Moving to a new career and new industry is more common than you might think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people change jobs every 4.2 years, which is 10 times over their working life. So whether you’re just starting out in your current career or have been in it awhile, jumping ship is normal – and expected!

How to make a career change

There are 5 keys to making a successful transition to a new career.

  1. Money matters

Before making a change, make sure your finances are in order. Things to consider:

  • Understand how much money you have in savings to cover any gap in employment.
  • Be aware of a new position’s salary, and what to expect if you have to take a pay cut.
  • What financial goals are you working towards or would like to achieve? Make sure there’s a place for those with a career change.
  • What additional expenses will you have for certifications, training or education for the new career?
  1. Understand the new career in and out

Switching careers can be exciting! Before going all in with putting in your resignation, be sure to fully understand the new position. Take the time to do online research, reach out to friends, family or acquaintances about the position to get the insider knowledge. Arm yourself with what to be aware of, and what to be most excited about.

Career Change

  1. Update your LinkedIn and resume

Your online presence matters, especially when it comes to LinkedIn. Make sure your profile and resume is fresh with the most recent position you’ve held, as well as skills and specialties you have. You have just a few seconds to ‘wow’ a potential employer, so make them count!

  1. Network like it’s your job

Because it is! Networking is a critical part of getting a new position and changing careers. So tell others that you’re wanting to make the change. Be specific and ask questions to old colleagues and acquaintances about who they know that you can get in contact with. Lastly, be open to all opportunities that might come your way.

  1. Run up the learning curve

Changing careers and doing something you’ve never done before can be a challenge. There is a learning curve ahead, so get prepared to meet it head-on. Being open to learning new concepts, strategies and ways of executing are all part of switching careers.

Making a career change is a big deal and can lead to a more fulfilled life. A positive attitude and willingness to dive right into a new career will help ensure a smooth transition.