Pursuing an Alternative Career Path: The Planning Stage

After sharing the story of my unexpected journey into the world of freelance writing, I decided it would be important for me to give you some tips on developing a plan to pursue an alternative career (the kind of tips that I wish someone had given me when I first decided to pursue writing).

While I realize that everybody’s situation is different and that most people can’t just quit their regular job to pursue an alternative career, I really think that once you start putting your plan together that it will take a lot of the fear and uncertainty that you may be feeling out of the equation and eventually drive you to take the necessary steps towards building the career of your dreams.


Here’s an easy and pain-free way to start putting your plan together:


  1. Put it on paper. Put together a dream board or write a list in your journal that describes your dream job. What would your typical work day be like? What type of people would you be working or collaborating with on a regular basis? In what ways would you be contributing to your local community or society in general? How much money would you be making? Write all of these details down without placing any limitations on yourself and you are guaranteed to get an accurate description of your alternative career.
  2. Identify your personal assets and resources. You may already have many of the skills or qualities necessary to pursue an alternative career, but you’ve been too busy thinking about the reasons why it wouldn’t work.  Instead of thinking about what you don’t have, start evaluating the skills and resources that are currently at your disposal. I didn’t have any experience as a content writer when I first started writing online, but I did have experience in writing reports, press releases, resumes and many other types of business and marketing documents. As soon as I realized this, I was able to use my experience to develop my content writing skills.
  3. Make a to-do list. I don’t know about you, but having a list of chores or simple tasks in front of me really makes it easier to tackle a huge project. Pursuing an alternative career may seem overwhelming at first, but if you break it up into smaller tasks it will be much more manageable. Your list should include a lot of research-related tasks at this stage. Your main focus should be on gathering information about courses that you might need to take, people you should talk to or books you need to read.
  4. Write a rough draft of your plan. It’s impossible to know what the future holds or what your actions may lead to, but you should put together a basic plan for reaching your goals. What do you need to do? How long will it take to meet each of your goals? Will you need to invest more time or money throughout the process? It’s time to think about these issues and consider the information you’ve gathered. A rough draft of your plan should help you to focus more on what’s important as you begin your journey, but you should also be willing to make any necessary changes to it as you learn more and reach certain milestones.