Herminia Ibarra is a careers change expert. She has spent a long time talking to people about how to go about changing careers. in her book Working Identity she says action beats introspection. In other words you don’t have to figure it out beforehand -just get out there and try something…..
She also recommends expanding your network – not just to get work but also to expand your possibilities of what you can become. To see walking, talking examples of what you could be. Your family and friends see you in a particular way – the challenge is in offering yourself a different “self” to try on.
Lastly, she talks about working and re-working your story. This one is dear to my own heart. I would say it took me about a year to get a simple story – one that I could tell myself as much as my potential clients. Then, every 6 months or so, I will update it and be able to focus it for a particular audience. I have worked with people namely Nicki Hayes-Singh and Mike Pegg who are both brilliant at this.
p.s Not surprisingly Tom Peters has his down to earth take on this