Passion alone won't get you a start in a new industry

What happens when you’ve made the decision to pursue a new career path but realise that the change would require a range of new skills which at present, you simply don’t have in your tool belt?

Passion alone won’t get you a start in a new industry. You need to be able to actually do the job, even at an entry level.

If you’re already working, finding the time to take on the appropriate training or studies can be difficult, if not impossible.

Add family and outside-of-work commitments, and the spare time you thought could see you at TAFE or university is pretty quickly chipped away to minutes rather than hours.

Thankfully, the same – or at least slightly similar – technology that brings us marvels like Snapchat and whatever other mobile apps the cool young hip kids are using this month means you no longer need to physically turn up to a classroom.

While choosing to study online can help with juggling existing work and family commitments, there are also benefits to parking your backside in a lecture theatre or tutorial room.

You’re face-to-face with both other students with similar interests and goals, and academic and teaching staff who are experts in their fields. It’s easier to engage with someone when you’re in the same room and the time spent chatting (aka networking) outside of class can also be a useful way of finding out about job opportunities that may not be advertised in the usual places.

Even though university is self-moderated in the sense that no one forces you to submit assignments on time or turn up to exams, any sense of accountability is even further removed if you’re studying online.

If you’re someone who struggles to keep themselves motivated and on task, the structure that comes with on-campus study is likely a good thing. Conversely, if you’re able to stay right on top of everything and are a time-management champion, studying online could be right up your alley.

Either way, the fact you have recognised that you need a career change, and then found the pathway you need to take to get there, should be commended.

You don’t need to wait for 2017 to roll around either. Most universities and TAFEs have a mid-year intake, so you can start your studies in July and move into your new career sooner than you think.