Starting a second career is both a difficult decision and an all around difficult undertaking. There are myriad unknowns that could crop up and stifle your dreams. At the same time, there’s seemingly limitless possibility that’s created when you finally do commit to making the switch.

Starting a second career is more than just changing jobs, it’s typically defined as starting a new job in a completely different industry or completely different side of the business.

Luckily we’re here to shed some light on what you can expect when making a switch to a second career in technology or Java programing.

  1. Network, network, network

    The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” is in some cases true, but it certainly can’t be considered a steadfast rule. It does, however, give you a leg up in some situations. When you’re thinking about make the move, leverage any contact you have in that field, reach out to them and start a dialogue about your intentions. And if you don’t have any contacts in that field or industry, look for opportunities to network in your area at job fairs, conferences, seminars or lectures; or look online at Twitter, webinars or forums to see what connections you can make.

  2. Research is essential

    When you’re planning on taking the plunge into a new career, do some research into what jobs are available, what job title you’re looking for, and the skills associated with that job. It’s important that when you start positioning yourself for your new career, you’re not wasting any effort ascertaining skills that aren’t going to help you get your new title.

  3. Discover if a tech career is suitable for you

    Before you make the decision to launch a new career in technology, ensure you’ve done enough soul searching and talking with others about the decision. It’s important to hear the thoughts and insights from others who know you best, and see if they have any overt reservations pertaining to your capacity to excel in that type of position.

  4. You are not locked in to a career because of your career

    At the end of the day, after your entry level job, your college diploma doesn’t mean anything to your ability to get a job today. What’s most important are the skills you bring to the table, and your past job experience. And as long as you’ve been trained in those disciplines and skills necessary to succeeding in that new job, the rest will take care of itself.

  5. Find ways to make yourself marketable, there’s always one

    You’re competing against the rest of the world for most jobs today. Because of the self-proclaimed “Global Economy” and the rise of work from home revolution, almost anyone, anywhere can effectively work a job. Take a look online and research the skills that are most difficult to find a specific industry or job field you’re interested in. There’s always something we can either learn to do better, or a new skill we can learn all together to make ourselves more attractive to an employer.