At some point in nearly every person’s life, they’ll begin to examine their career and decide to make some changes. Some of those may be small, such as deciding to make a lateral move between various companies, while others may decide to start over completely in a new industry. Reinventing a career is not an easy thing to undertake no matter what stage of their career someone is in, but it’s possible to make it easier by following just a few key steps.

Change the way the job is defined

A person who has spent fifteen years as a software developer may begin to start coaching their impending career transition as saying they are an “aspiring so-and-so”; while that may be the most honest thing to say, it’s hardly encouraging.

If someone truly wants to change their career, they have to fully commit to the role, and that includes changing the way they talk about aspects of their professional lives. In your Linkedin profile, put the new career front and center. Then, you should seek out people that are in the new career field and start speaking like one of them. These little changes add up over time and help make the eventual transition much easier.

Keep the end goal in mind

Career transitions are tough and there are always going to be roadblocks and obstacles along the way that make it harder. Instead of focusing on the everyday things necessary to transition your career – internships, schooling, connections, etc – it’s far more valuable to simply keep the end goal in the forefront of your mind. For instance, if someone wants to become a freelance writer, it can be tempting to think of the career in terms of clients, portfolios, and pitches, but instead, they should think about that day they sit down with an outline to write for their big account. Those are the things that will keep them motivated and aimed the right way. Find small ways to motivate yourself in your career transition and you’ll see great results.

Put in the work
Regardless of how it looks, most career paths started years before they came to fruition. Classes, internships, and workshops all coalesced into the career people have currently; why should they expect it to be any different when they change jobs? Making a career transition is hard, but it’s not impossible, you just have to put in the time and have confidence that it’ll happen. The steady grind at something that you love is far more preferable to slaving away at a job you cannot stand anyway.