A successful career change doesn't just happen. It's a process. A methodical process that takes energy, devotion, and time. And the best way to start this process? Ask four simple, yet powerful, questions. Actively asking these questions and discovering the answers requires insight, reality-based information, and action, all of which will lead you to unimaginable results.

Question 1: What does your world need today and in the future?

Generally, you will base your answer on needs that you already had, either ones you've already satisfied or ones you have yet to fulfill. Societal trends also can create a need.

Question 2: Do I have the necessary skills to meet these needs or could I acquire them?

This requires that you understand your skills. However, it's amazing what skills you can acquire if you are strongly motivated and have the basic underlying aptitude and instinct.

Question 3: Would I value doing that?

Would meeting this need provide meaning for you? Does it fit your image of yourself? This is a basic, fundamental question you should ask when changing careers. If the connection with the need doesn't excite you, it's likely that you are going in the wrong direction, regardless of the need and your skills.

Question 4: Can I make a living meeting this need?

Practical realities dictate that we pay attention to our financial needs. When considering a career change, ask these questions in this order. If the answers are strong, you often can find a way to make a living at it.

In essence, the career-change process is discovering what you want based on your heart and your head. You are discovering, naming, and matching your needs and skills with opportunities. When entering the career-change process, you will examine yourself and emerge with new depths of motivation, a sharper sense of career direction, and a more vital awareness of how you want to live on the job. Growth is personalized and vital. It is the heart of any change and learning. You will notice a change in your perception, attitude, understanding, knowledge, experience, and skills.