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It is around this time every year that people begin to get severe cases of “career change iti-s” Though not everyone will participate we can begin thinking about it. If you are considering a career change here are 8 steps to help make it easier.

1. Do you really want to change careers? A career change is serious business. Only undergo one after careful consideration. We all have terrible stretches at work that make us want to resign, but they pass… and come back… and pass — well, you get the picture. Take some time off your current job and recharge. If you return to work feeling the same dread, apathy, or frustration as before, maybe a career change is right for you.

2. Take control. You’ve decided it’s time for a new career path, but you’re scared. That’s understandable; changing careers takes guts.You’re in charge. Be proactive. Don’t wait for things to happen to you. Make them happen.

3. Be practical. You want to herd sheep, make designer kites, or create energy drinks that cure the common cold? Hey, good luck. But make sure you can make a decent living.

4. Be committed. Don’t be one of those people who set out to change careers, and then give up when things get a little tough. You have to be determined to make the change work. So promise yourself you’ll accept nothing short of success — no matter what setbacks come your way.

5. Figure out what you want to do. Research, research, research. Get on the Internet and start learning as much as you can about the careers you’re interested in. Read relevant trade papers and magazines. Immerse yourself. Find out the necessary skills and qualifications related to your possible career choices. [Editor’s note: See this section of Quint

6. Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Get out there and find people who are doing what you want to do. Talk to them about the negative and positive aspects of that career. Find out the truth — the good, the bad, the ugly. Tell them not to pull any punches or sugarcoat anything.

7. Figure out how you will do it. So you’ve decided on a career choice. But don’t expect to start herding those sheep right away. You have to do a little planning first. How will you support yourself during your career change?

8. Learn how to do it. If you’ve already mastered the job skills related to your new career, you’re ready to go live. Otherwise, find out the educational or training requirements of your career choice and prepare to get up to speed. For example, if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, you’ll need an advanced degree from a college or university. If you want to write, you may have to take classes or attend workshops.

There are links on this very page from Monster on Now is as good a time to start to looking. Good luck and happy job hunting.