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There are many reasons why a woman might consider a career change. Burnout at work, a low salary, general dissatisfaction and wasted talent are all perfectly valid catalysts for going after a promotion, starting your own business, or changing your professional focus completely. If you find yourself in a position wondering if the time is right, keep reading. Only you can determine if you are ready, but the following advice might help you prepare.

Knowing what you want

Before you make any type of transition, first decide what you want to get out of a change. Keep in mind that, as GoBankingRates points out, the promotion you’ve been eyeing may come with negative side effects, such as changing friendships in the office and having to give up responsibilities you enjoy. On the other hand, if you’re ready to leave your job, starting your own business can give you the freedom to work the hours you want. Further, as an entrepreneur, you are the one in control of your success.

Tools of the trade

There are many resources that can help you get started if you choose to start a business. The Small Business Administration lists the National Women’s Business Council and SCORE as organizations of particular interest to female entrepreneurs. Additionally, there are many tools that you can use to launch your business, and particularly if you plan to operate via an online platform.

Begin by selecting a business structure. Many people like an LLC because it offers asset protection, plus it’s easy to establish when you file through an online service. Then, develop a business plan, which is similarly simple with a template. It maps out how to reach your goals, and you might need it to woo investors or get a loan. Lastly, build a website. For this, you can use a website builder. Many of these are drag-and-drop, so you can get on the web and get down to business!

One of the most important features of an e-commerce business – or any business with an online presence – is a reliable and engaging website. If your business could use a more dynamic and user-friendly website than what your skills allow you to create, hire a web developer from job boards like ITJobPro or BlablaDev. An Upwork HTML5 freelancer should have full understanding of the latest HTML iteration and be able to integrate and update systems.

When you want to climb the ladder

If owning your own business is not your goal, and you’ve weighed the pros and cons of moving up the ranks in your current company, there are things you can do to put yourself in the best position to get noticed. First, talk to your immediate boss about your professional goals. Let them know where you plan to be in one, five, and 10 years. Keep in mind, however, that as Glassdoor notes, the only way to reach these is to make yourself indispensable, and to continue learning no matter how long you’ve been in your particular industry.

Finally, don’t be afraid to take charge of situations and advocate for yourself when the position you want becomes available. Doing these things will help you network within your organization and, hopefully, get the attention of decision makers.

This is your stop

When you believe a career change is in order, make a point to network outside of your company. As you begin the process, you can utilize social media, job fairs, and even volunteer opportunities to meet people who currently work in your chosen industry. In addition to networking, plan to supplement your educational credentials with a few classes or college courses to help you get caught up on current rules, regulations, and requirements of the job you wish to go after.

There is no reason to stay put in a job that will lead you nowhere. And there’s nothing wrong with chasing a promotion, changing careers, or starting your own business. But remember, it pays to plan ahead, so network when it’s needed and use the tools at your disposal to put yourself one step ahead of career burnout. You might just find that a change of pace is exactly what you need to reignite your professional passion and your overall career satisfaction.

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