Are you thinking about switching careers? This is a much bigger step than just changing jobs in a particular market or niche. When you move from one career to the next, you often are making a drastic change in occupations. If you are currently a house painter but dream of a career as an attorney, you have a lot of changes to make.

Switching careers can be overwhelming due to all the moving parts like, pinpointing what you want in a job, employer, your transferable skills, etc. However, starting with the basic foundations will help you transition with ease. Here are three basic foundations of switching careers:

Examine Where Your Motivation Comes From 

Do you want to buy a particular pair of shoes because they are all cool right now? That may not be the best reason for making a purchase. What happens in a few months when some other type of shoe is the new fashion “must-have,” and your current shoes are uncool? You can ask yourself the same question regarding switching careers.

Is the reason you are thinking about entering a new field about more money or more free time or something else? You may believe that is exactly what you want. Ask yourself though, is it really? If you enjoy your job but money is a problem, could you sit down and work out a budget that made more sense for you? This could reveal sources of savings which would meet your financial desires, and you could keep a job you liked.

There is nothing wrong with using a traditional measure of success as a reason for changing careers. Just make sure that whatever yardstick you use to measure success in your life takes into account your unique personality, desires, and goals.

Become Sherlock Holmes 

Arguably the most well-known fictional detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes was a master investigator. He would dig, and dig, and dig until he got to the root of a crime. He would tirelessly investigate and detect until there was only one possibility, one suspect, one criminal. He would logically eliminate everyone but the only possible person that could have committed a crime. You need to become the investigator of you if you are thinking about changing careers to eliminate possible career paths where you see a lot of red flags. Don’t convince yourself that particular career or company is worth a shot just because you are attracted to it. Not everything you want to do is going to pan out all of the time. If your detective work reveals that there is no career or company that is just perfect for you, consider starting your own business.

Consider Moonlighting to Begin Your New Career Part-Time 

To make a successful change in careers, look to places you have never been before. Think about experiences or occupations that excite and intrigue you. A common concern about changing careers is that you will make the wrong choice. One way to deal with this anxiety is to stay at your current job while working part-time at an entry-level or near the career you are thinking about transitioning into or building a business part-time.

One of the most common knee-jerk reactions to this recommendation is, “I don’t have enough time.” You don’t have to look very far online to see a multitude of stories where people had less free time than you currently do, and they created successful businesses starting out on their kitchen tables. If you want something badly enough, you will find the free time to dedicate to making it happen.

Some of the most successful Internet marketers did this when they started their million-dollar businesses. Because of the way the Internet works, you can build a viable business entity online spending just an hour or two each day. Even if your new career is not Internet-based, you can still take a part-time approach.

Maybe you have always loved sewing, and your friends and family members are constantly complimenting you on your creations. Why not do something you love for a living, rather than something you don’t, and make your own line of clothing? In this example, you could easily work whenever you have free time to begin and build your business.

Moonlighting, working at night on your new career part-time, can sometimes become a new income stream almost immediately. So not only are you learning how to launch a business or begin a new career, but you are simultaneously impacting your financial bottom line in a positive manner. You should also consider that when you have a lot on your plate, you are more productive. You may have heard the old saying that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.

This is true because most people ramp up their productivity and efficiency when they have a lot on their plate. In this way, your moonlighting efforts to launch a new career could make you a better employee at your current job. Both parties win, your old career and your new career, and you get to build a business or career on your own schedule.

It has been noted that when someone was put in an entirely uncomfortable, stressful environment, the performance was horrible. However, taking small steps outside of a person’s comfort zone slowly began to expand the area where that person was happy and comfortable. Over time, it becomes easier and easier to take on new tasks and expose yourself to unfamiliar experiences.

Switching careers is scary so don’t take a giant leap, take a baby step instead. Rather than immediately moving from one career to another, why not take a part-time job in a career that interests you? Maybe you can sign up for classes or certification in some field that has captured your attention. These small steps outside of your comfort zone will eventually give you the confidence to move onto an entirely different career if your current field of employment is not working out.