Making a career change can be challenging, but having a plan in place will help you make the right decision and land where you want to be.

Having recently gone through the process myself, I understand the challenges that professionals face when making career changes. After more than 10 years in sales with a large corporation, I made the transition to executive recruiting in 2015. Through my experience, I developed a list of tips for like-minded professionals who are considering a career change.

First, be clear on what you want and what you’re looking for. Write down the job description for your dream job and determine what it is you truly want to do. Think outside the box, while relying on your existing skill set to help you determine your path. Find commonalities in your past life to help with the transition. For instance, sales and recruiting are somewhat similar in that you’re selling something in both instances, whether that be a product, service or human capital.

Next, begin reaching out to people to gain insight into the new profession that you wish to obtain. Speak with industry leaders and experts in that field and arm yourself with valuable knowledge to help you make a strategic move. Talk to everyone you know—not just those similar to you. Consider reaching out to everyone from college students to retirees to gain different perspectives. Talk to them directly, whether in-person or on a phone call, to get advice on how to break into various fields. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with the right people and make introductions.

Lastly, be patient. Understand that making a career change can take time. Don’t stop the search or give up on the process—your ideal position may be right around the corner, although it may take months or even a year to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Making career changes can be challenging and daunting. Recruiters are always here to help you make such a move and lead you in the right direction.

Have you made a career change recently or are you contemplating taking a different path to lead to your professional success? Leave a comment in the fields below.