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Changing careers is one of the biggest decisions job-seekers face. Before you take a leap into a new career field, consider these common career change mistakes, so that you can avoid doing the same.

1. Making a career change without a plan. The biggest mistake anyone can make is attempting to switch careers without a plan. A successful career change can often take months to accomplish even when you have a strategy. Without one, you could end up at loose ends for an even longer period of time.

2. Changing careers because you hate your job. Donít make the mistake of confusing hating your current job with hating your current career. Take the time out to analyze if itís the job/employer/boss that you hate, or whether itís the career/skills/work that you dislike. The same goes with if you are feeling bored or lost with your job. Review the position. Itís best not to leave your job until you have a plan for finding a new career.

3. Making a career change solely based on money/benefits. Certain career fields are very alluring because of the salary and other benefits they offer. Always remember money wonít buy you happiness.

4. Changing careers because of pressure. Donít let your parents, significant others or anyone else influence your career choice. If you love what you do, then stick to it.

5. Making a career change without refreshing your network. After having identified the career field you want to switch to, begin developing new network contacts. Ask a lot of informative questions. People in your network can provide inside information about job-openings and can even champion you to hiring managers. Networking is essential for all career-changers.

6. Changing careers without examining all the possibilities. Donít jump career fields without first conducting thorough research into all the possibilities, including career fields you may never have considered. By conducting research into careers you have never considered or been exposed to, you may find the career of your dreams. Talk to people, read career and job profiles, meet with a career management professional. This will help in making a successful career change.

7. Making a career change without assessment of likes/dislikes. Self-assessment of your skills, values, and interest is a critical component to career-change success. Prepare a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, so that you can find the best career for you.

8. Changing careers based on the success of others. Just because your best friend or neighbour is successful in a certain career does not mean that you will be. Make sure to evaluate your decision before jumping into it.

9. Making a career change without necessary experience/education. As a career-changer, you must find a way to bridge the gap between your old career and your new one. Research whether you need additional training or education.

10. Changing careers without updating job-search skills/techniques. If itís been a while since you were last on the job market, take the time to polish your job-search skills, techniques, and tools. Review your resume-writing techniques, master networking, and polish your interviewing skills.

With a lot of resources at your fingertips, there is no excuse for you making any of the above career change mistakes. But if you do make one of them, step back and see if thereís a way to fix it. Always remember a career should not control you; you should control your career.
In order to move ahead in life, everyone follows a dream. But how often do we earnestly pursue our dreams? Most often our dreams get sidetracked due to the pressures and nuances of daily life. But donít let that stop you from jumpstarting your dream, today.

Listed below are few pointers which will help you keep track of your goals and stay focused on your dreams.

Prioritize your goals/dreams.
Is gathering experience more important to you right now, than doing what you love? Unaligned with passion, your intentions will lack the power to attract the people and situations necessary to become a reality. When you are passionate about what you do, it will channelize your true essence and calling.

Live your own dream.
Make your own choices/decisions. Remember itís not selfish to go after your own dream. Listen to what your heart says. Each one of us has the right to follow our own dreams.

Is this it what you really want?
How important is your goal to you? Do you jump out off bed every morning to pursue it or do you chase it because of the perks associated with it?

Have you resigned to selling for the less?
Never settle for anything, other than what youíre passionate about. Go after what drives you. Very often dissatisfaction at the workplace or in life results from you compromising on your dreams/goals.

Is your dream in reality just a means to achieving some other dream?
Are you focused right now on your goal or is it merely a means to achieving something else. Focus on the experience you want to create, not the physical form that may-or may not-bring you that experience.

What will you feel like when you reach your dream?
They say, personal passion fuels a vision. Dive into the thrill and exhilaration of the feeling of living your dream. Drink in the joy of fulfilling your goal, every moment you can. It's time you manifested your aspirations. Dynamic, satisfying creations are nurtured with love and care as a flower in a garden.

How will you benefit from getting your dream?
Know what exactly you will achieve when you fulfill your dream. Write down the plus points so they will sink in as motivators. Think about what would happen if you made loads of money doing the things you love. Would your attitude towards life and people change?

What can be done towards reaching your dream?
Don't change your dream. Take on every opportunity that falls in line with your plans and vision and translate them into positive actions. No matter how frantic life gets, make a commitment to take at least one action a day. Even the smallest of the actions count.

What are you telling yourself?
Most people don't believe they can achieve their dreams. Either conditioning has led them to believe they can't make a living doing what they love, or they feel they don't deserve their dream. Everyone has a dream and should be motivated to fulfill that purpose.

Are you afraid of achieving your dream?
Do you dread "good" things happening to you? Getting your dream is life-threatening, often changing your old experience of yourself and the life-you know.

Is it really worth achieving your dream?
When you relax and let your future unfold, you allow yourself more flexibility in fulfilling your wishes, having a much better chance of being able to attract real happiness.
What is it that distinguishes a Van Gogh from a dozen other oils on canvas?

What is it that gives a successful entrepreneur the winning edge?

What makes consumers put all their faith into one brand over any other?

And what can help you carve a niche for yourself in the world of business?

Itís the stamp of professionalism that separates the one-time-wonders from those that weather time, trends and recessions.

Hereís a checklist of attributes that every corporate Ďprofessionalí must imbibe. As you scroll down, ask yourself whether you have these qualities and if you do, be rest assured that you are an asset to your company. If not itís time to buck upófor the sake of your customers, your company, your team, and most of all yourself!

Ambition, vision, missionÖthese are buzzwords that can sometimes blind us because we romanticize the idea of success. What really matters is whether YOU can be a pioneer. Do you take the initiative? Are you ready to take risks? Can you THINK? Donít procrastinate; make a plan, no matter how short term to carry out your Ďowní set of professional objectives. As you ascend the corporate ladder, you will have to take the lead in terms of ideas, initiatives and also where it comes to inspiring others. Feel accountable for your actions, to both customers and coworkers. And of course the quintessential factor is courage! A person without courage is like the night without stars.
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