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As kids, we all have lofty and enthusiastic dreams about the careers we will one day have – even though those dreams may be a little bit more fantastical than reality can offer at the time being. (There aren’t many openings in the field of “flying around and having laser eyes” for example.)
Somewhere down the line, though, many – and perhaps most – of us find ourselves doing work that doesn’t fulfil us, and that we would like to move away from as soon as possible.
Of course, part of the problem with trying to make a career change and pursue work that you might find more meaningful, is that retraining often requires a pretty substantial investment of money.
It is, however, possible to begin moving closer towards your dream career without having to be a millionaire and invest a small fortune into the endeavour. And, at a certain point along the path, new avenues and opportunities for that career shift are likely to present themselves.
Here are a few ways to begin moving closer to your dream career, without spending a lot of money.
Investigate free and affordable diploma courses, to start with
Did you know that you can start a personal trainer course for free today, using the right company? Or, that there are many diploma programs out there that can significantly increase your understanding of a given topic, for little more than the price of a meal at a restaurant?
Resources such as Coursera allow you to obtain diplomas which may help to contribute towards the completion of a degree, and which will certainly set a great framework that you can then build on later, if you do decide to pursue a career change after all.
Explore the different options that exist, and consider spending some of your evenings, and a few hours on weekends, to acquiring these sorts of diplomas and qualifications.
Read and study the subject on your own time, under your own steam
There are more books out there than anyone could ever read in a lifetime, on virtually any given subject that you could care to name.
These days, it’s easier than ever before to find these books and have them delivered to your home in a day or two.
Taking the time to sit down and read deep and sophisticated books on your dream career can help you to gain a really substantial understanding of a topic, beyond the point that would be possible otherwise. In fact, self-taught students who do a lot of extensive reading can often have a more sophisticated knowledge of a given subject than people who have been formally educated on that subject.
The key here is that you need to really commit yourself to studying the subject on your own time, under your own steam, deeply and consistently. It won’t do to skim a page every now and again. You have to do sessions of an hour or two at a time, at least.
Explore the possibility of setting up a home-based side business
Setting up your own business can easily become a very expensive process, but that largely depends on what it is you’re doing, exactly, and the particular business model that you are utilising in order to attain your aims.
These days, a huge number of web-based businesses exist, and it’s often very easy and affordable to create such a business virtually overnight.
Explore the possibility of setting up a small home-based business, if you feel that you know enough about the subject to offer some value to prospective clients and customers – and research ways of offering the services via the web, as this will often be an eminently more affordable option.
Network and communicate with other people who are already doing the job you want to do
There are all kinds of different meetup groups out there, for people who aspire to make a success of themselves in different fields.
Often, identifying the right group to network and communicate with can help to give you some good insights on what other people are doing, in your situation, to move towards their professional goals. These groups may also expose you to people who are already doing the job you want to do, and being successful at it.
“Success leaves clues” is a well-known saying that emphasises the importance of looking for “professional role models” to study, and follow in the footsteps of. Often, just watching what other people are doing can reveal a lot of different strategies and opportunities to you that might make all the difference.