Are you unhappy in your current job? Or, are they unhappy with you? Don’t wait to start your journey. It may take longer than you expect to move to another company or a different position in a different field.

1) Start early. Don’t wait until you leave your job, get fired or get fed up! The sooner you start on the following steps, the closer you will be to getting your next position. Unless you are planning to retire, take a week or two off but not more, then get started.

2) Take stock of your human capital: strengths, skills, interests, values, and weaknesses. What skills can be transitioned to a new job title or a new industry? What would you really like to do?

3) Be realistic. It takes time to make a change from profit to non-profit, or vice versa. It takes time to realign your skills and successes to meet the needs of a different industry. While you won’t be able to become a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist without additional education, your past work experience can be re-purposed. What is possible: the easiest and shortest route is the same job you have now at a different company. The second easiest is the same job in a different industry. And the hardest is a different job title using your transferable skills and that may require additional education or training.

4) Research You can learn only so much by going online to a company website, reading trade publications, reviews on Glassdoor, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. You need to talk to real people in real jobs. Find out how they got into their careers, what steps did they take. Therefore, you need to go to the next step:

5) Grow your network. Join the professional organization for your job title. If you are a woman, join two organizations, one that is co-ed and one just for women. Become activie on a committee or event so other members get to know you, trust you, and can recommend you. Become a member of your alumni association and get involved. The objective is to develop relationships with people in your newly chosen field, not merely meet dozens of people on a superficial level.