Many people don’t like what they are doing because they have outgrown them, tired of repetition or just want a new challenge. I was somewhat among the folks who want a new challenge. If you want to change or upgrade your career, the following steps would help you have a smooth transition. They helped me to have a great transition.

1. Ask an expert about it before you start any research

The best way to have an idea of a situation to hear from the experienced ones. Before you start “googling” anything substantial, be sure to ask an expert (if there’s one you can reach) in the field you are looking into. Asking earlier while you are still constantly thinking about the change is important. This will give you foreknowledge of what you will see in the research phase if you choose to proceed after chatting with an expert. I highly recommend you don’t quit after talking to an expert. You should proceed to do some research. This would help in the future even if you don’t eventually make the career move.

2. Take a free course regarding the career

This part is important and a lot of people make their decision during this phase. I made my decision as well after taking courses on Coursera and Udemy. These resources and others like the library are convenient and cheaper than taking a college class about the field. You can take multiple courses, compare them with each other and more importantly compare your findings to what your expert says. If you decide not to proceed after a course, remember that unrelated things you learned today can help you be better tomorrow. Steve Jobs dropped out of college to study calligraphy – a subject that became relevant years later when he decided the MacIntosh needed fonts.

3. Ask an expert about it after your research

At this phase, you probably have decided to proceed with the change. You will have some questions from the courses and probably some suggestions that would help others. It is not uncommon for newcomers to have suggestions for those who are already in the field. It is best to meet an expert (preferably a different one) and talk about your findings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Being curious and unafraid to ask questions about the old and new ways of doing things is a great path to success in this field. Your curiosity may lead to a creative way of getting things done because you are coming in with different sets of eyes.

4. Get a mentor and get started

A mentor is one of the five types of people we need to be successful in life. A mentor will hold your hand and walk you through the new path. Your mentor may want you to go at a speed that’s not convenient but be patient with him or her and yourself. Always remember that you got what it takes and never entertain the thought of quitting. You may get tired and discouraged but never give up. Change often comes with some “downtime”. Always be quick to reach out to your mentor if you have any challenging questions.

Changing your career direction is not going to be easy. Stay connected with the goal and the people who can help you to reach the next level. Maintaining meaningful relationships with the experts would help you settle in, get going and may guarantee your first job.