The Ultimate Guide to Changing Careers

If you’re serious about a career change, this Guide will steer you in the right direction. It covers all the nitty-gritty of starting your new career.

At the end of this Career Guide, you’ll be on your way to your new career.

Remember…a second career is something you start while you still have a job, with the end goal of working for yourself. It’s more than a job change or career change…and it’s not just a sideline, second income or second job.

Basically, this Career Guide gives a summary of the process of starting a parallel career which involves two stages.

The first stage is when you did your career change assessment. You identified your Assets & Skillset, and your Passion, Talent or Mission. You did this by looking at your current and previous jobs? And we said that your Assets and Skillset can form the foundation of your parallel career. (To refresh your memory…go to the A&S page>>>)

And the second stage in this Parallel Career Guide has three steps. We call these ‘career change decision’ steps because each step involves decisions/choices to be made.

These 3 career change decision’ steps are:

  • Step I – Decide/choose a Career Option
  • Step II – Decide whether the chosen option is suitable for you in a Suitability Checklist
  • Step III – Decide to take action in a ‘What-you-Need-to-Get-Started’ Checklist

Step I – Career Options

There are many choices of parallel careers that you can choose from. Here we have identified almost twenty career options that you could consider. Look at these options below and decide/choose at least one that matches your Assets & Skillset, Passion, Talent or Mission.
(a) Distributor distribute products to businesses and/or end-users sourced from product manufacturers, wholesalers, importers
(b) Importer bring in products sourced from overseas and sell to local retailers, distributors, wholesalers
(c) Exporter sell local products to overseas customers
(d) Retail business source a variety of products, sell via online store/offline
(e) Service provider provide a service in an area you’re good at (example: repair equipment and machinery, write computer programs, graphic design)
(f) Manufacture products if you’ve experience and know-how in manufacturing, there are many products you can manufacture initially on a small scale and later big time (example: limited edition ceramic figurines and metal art pieces, plastic components, etc.)
(g) Assemble products put together complex products (e.g. notebook computers and other electronic gadgets, machines)
(h) Systems integrator design and put together systems for homes or factories (for example computer networks, security systems, home automation systems). Look for system components from various sources.
(i) Bulk breaker purchase in bulk; re-pack in small packs (example: chemicals, fasteners, foodstuff) Parallel
(j) Refurbisher restore old/damaged furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring
(k) Repairer specialize in repairing machinery, equipment, and appliances found in homes or industry.
(l) Agent/broker/ representative sell insurance, property, advertising, businesses, loans, merchandise for a commission.
(m) Consultant/Advisor/ Analyst/Coach assist others in a field/area that you’re an expert in (e.g. computer systems, human resources, financial planning, sport)
(n) A researcher is a specialist in researching a specific subject/area. Compile researched information into reports and sell online/offline. For continuity of revenue, select information that requires yearly/regular updates.
(o) Inventor think of what you can invent to make life easier/save time/save money in homes and in industry
(p) Designer be a designer and specialist in a category example: fashion designer: evening wear; architect, interior designer: Tudor homes; industrial designer: plumbing fittings)
(q) Finder find for a fee (example: antiques, talent, investors)
(r) Product Enhancer looks at existing or old products and thinks of how to enhance one into a new product.
(s) Marketing Innovator creates new ways of marketing existing products.
(t) Infopreneur creates information products based on your knowledge and skills.
(u) Freelancing as a freelancing professional you act as an expert or specialist in your field on a project/contract basis.
Remember…all the above options can be started while you’re still working for someone else.

Step II – Suitability Checklist

The second ‘career change decision’ step of Career Guide is to decide whether the career option that you chose in Step I is suitable. We’ve specially prepared this Suitability Checklist for this purpose:

Level of skill/knowledge/expertise (or S-K-E level) required.
(1) High

(2) Medium

(3) Low

If your answer is (1) it’s harder for you to start this parallel career. If you selected (3) it’s easier for you to start your selected parallel career but it’s also easier for others to enter this career.

B. The usefulness of your Assets & Skillset
(1) Very useful Parallel Career Guide – copyright

(2) Quite useful

(3) Not useful

If your answer is (1) you can start this parallel career immediately. If you selected (3) you may need to acquire new skills and knowledge before starting.

C. Fits with your passion/talent/mission
(1) Good fit

(2) A quite good fit

(3) Do not fit

If you selected (1) you’ll enjoy what you’ll be doing and it’ll be easier to get started. If you selected (3) you may not enjoy what you’ll be doing.

D. Minimum time involvement required

(1) 10 hours or less a week

(2) More than 10 hours a week

If you selected (1) it’s easier to get started you. If you selected (2) you’ll want to be sure that you can commit this amount of time before you get started.

E. Ownership/Control

(1) Sole owner, total control

(2) With partner(s), majority control

(3) With partner(s), minority control

If you selected (1) you must be confident that you have all the needed skills and knowledge to do it alone. If you selected (2) or (3) you must be certain that you’ll need your partners in the long-run not just in the initial stage(s).

(Note: It’s very important for you to feel secure about the people you enter into business relationships; more so if he/she is going to be a partner in a parallel career venture. Now, you can check virtually anyone’s background with background check resources that tap a vast reservoir of public records).

F. Financial contribution

(1) Provide all the start-up capital

(2) Provide part of the start-up capital

(3) Provide all the working capital

(4) Provide part of the working capital

(5) Stand as sole guarantor for a business loan

(6) Stand as co-guarantor for a business loan

Your choice of (1), (2), (3) or (4) will depend on your financial capacity and the degree of your risk-taking ability. Be really careful of selecting (5) and (6) because many people have ended in financial ruin because of standing as guarantor for a loan.

G. Profitability potential

(1) High

(2) Medium

(3) Low

There are many ways to make money, so don’t choose a parallel career option that is a long, slow and a painful way to make profits….unless your career end goal is not entirely monetary.

H. Speed of implementation

(1) High

(2) Medium

(3) Low

Some business ideas take much longer time to plan, start and develop than others. If you know that you’ll lose your job soon, you’ll probably want to choose a parallel career option with a high speed of implementation. On the other hand, if you have a stable job in a stable company you may have the luxury of taking your time in developing your parallel career.

Step III – ‘What-you-Need-to-Get-Started’ Checklist

The third ‘career change decision’ step of  Career Guide involves taking action needed to get your career venture started. You’ll need to decide on each of the following…

1) Register a business OR incorporate a limited liability company (be aware of the pros and cons of each)

2) Get a mailing address, phone answering service, fax line, email (all of these or some other arrangements?)

3) Office, meeting room, boardroom to meet clients (will you require these in the beginning?)

4) Print business stationery, business cards (design, quantity, quality?)

5) Open a bank account (which bank?)

6) Business loan (is it required yet?)

7) Prepare a business plan (you’ll need this when applying for a bank loan and also as your business blueprint).

8) Build a website (sooner or later?)

9) Select an accountant and a solicitor (who? which firm?)

You’ll now be on your way…

So you’ve reached the end of Parallel Career Guide? You’ve done your career change assessment (where you identified your Assets & Skillset, Passion, Talent or Mission) AND you made many career change decisions in these three steps:

● decided on at least one option from Step I – Parallel Career Options
● ticked all the answers in Step II – Suitability Checklist
● taken all the action needed in Step III – ‘What-you-Need-to-Get-Started’ Checklist
We said it at the start of this Career Guide…follow this career guide….and you’ll be on your way to a new career now.