Personal Development

When you reach a career turning point

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Many people aren't satisfied with their career and with the choices they made after graduation. I was one of them. A decade ago physics was everything to me, and I dreamed about flourishing scientific career, new inventions, prizes and rewards. Instead I ended up in a classroom teaching physics to high school students.

Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and my students showed lot of interest in the subject, but this was completely different from the career I was dreaming about while I was still in high school. I decided not to let one or few bad decisions take away all my childhood dreams and took matters in my own hands and change my life to the better. This wasn't an easy process and I needed to make a lot of tough decisions, study day and night and compete with graduates quite younger than me, but in the end everything went great and I'm now a successful IT expert. In this article I will try to describe my way of getting into IT sector in three separate steps.

Career_changeStep 1: Know Who You Are and What You Want

Although this sounds simple, a lot of people can't single out all the important criteria when deciding which career path to take. When doing this after graduation people solely rely on their wishes and preferences and they often neglect other important criteria like: job availability, financial considerations (average salary, benefits, incentives etc), work/life balance and many other things people don't care much about when they're 18 and when playing cool on graduation party is the number one thing to worry about.

When deciding for a career change the decision is a little bit easier. Good thing is that people that already have some work experience and they know which careers are more profitable than theirs. They also know their abilities and have know which kind of education and later work will suit them best. Since I was always interested in IT and my previous education also provided me with broad knowledge in math, I decided to find my place under the sun of IT sector.

Notes to keep in mind for the first step are:

1.       Determine which career you'd like to pursue
2.       Make an elaborate research about each career that comes to mind
3.   Choose occupations for which you can use the knowledge you acquired on your previous studies and job posts.

Step 2: Educate Yoursel

Depending on what would you like to do, you'll need to apply for certain college, trainings, courses etc. New technology made the education part much easier and now you can find plenty of online trainings and courses for all kinds of occupations. With these online courses you won't get a real diploma, but in some areas including IT sector companies often employ self-thought experts. I used combination of online courses and a paid course that provided me with ICT Degree. Free online courses provided me with great knowledge about the subject since these are provided by some of the best universities in the world like MIT or Harvard, that have the best lecturers of these subjects. Paid course was also very helpful, since it gave the Degree that's recognized by all the big players in IT sector and without it I definitely wouldn't be able to find a job in such a successful company. In addition to all this I also used all of my previous IT experience and read a lot of books on the subject during my free time. It's also important to note that I kept working as a physics professor while finishing these courses which provided me with steady income, which is very important during this critical time.

Notes to keep in mind for the second step are:

1. Don't quit your job immediately after deciding to change your career
2. Apply for paid course, training, college etc so you can get a certified diploma in the field.
3. Use all sources of knowledge you can get, some of the good ones are: free online courses, books, magazines etc.

Step 3: New Career Launch

First year is usually the hardest. It is the year when you need to gain enough professional experience and it sometimes includes doing things for free just to establish yourself in the new business. Before starting with this step people need to save enough money so they can support themselves during this period. They also need to quit their previous job and fully commit to pursuing their new career. Working as a moonlighter is also an option. I first started moonlighting after getting my ICT Degree. Luckily there was a great need for IT experts back then and I managed to find several great moonlighting gigs through which I earned almost as much money as I was earning while working in school. Later one of my steady clients offered me a full time job at their firm, which was the first step in becoming a successful IT expert.

Notes to keep in mind for the third step:

1. Save enough money for your first year of work, since it might not be that lucrative.
2. Work for free if needed.
3. Starting your new career as a freelancer can be good to, because you'll start earning immediately.

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About the author

Marcus Jensen

Although an accomplished physics teacher, Marcus decided to requalify and get an ICT degree. Now he is a successful IT professional, working with several Australian based companies. He writes for Technivorz blog. He's a Science Fiction fan, and has actually seen Star Wars 44 times.