There’s nothing better than the beginning of a new year to start fresh. Something about that blank slate of a new calendar opens up possibilities as we dream about what the next twelve months might bring.

One of the questions you may wrestle with is whether or not to take the leap into a new career. Maybe you’ve been bored for a long time now, having learned all you can or care to learn at your current job. Maybe you’re facing a layoff as you watch your once-thriving industry dwindle down to nothing. Or, maybe you’ve been taking stock and getting honest with yourself and realize that if you don’t start going for the career of your dreams, you’ll never forgive yourself.

It can be both scary and exciting to consider what else you might be doing with your days. What better time to take those steps toward a new career than now? There will always be obstacles in the way — from the opinions of our families, spouses, and friends, to financial commitments like mortgages and car notes, to our own fear of the unknown and disbelief in our abilities. It helps to remember that the perfect time will never come. It does not exist. Something will always be in the way. At no point will you find yourself with no competing possibilities, nagging doubts, or financial hurdles. A new year is as good an excuse as any to make needed changes in your life.

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.

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But where to start? The idea of changing careers can seem overwhelming. It helps to break the process down into smaller steps. If you know what your ideal new career would be, take some time to do research. Start at square one. Will you need to go back to school? Could you find a part-time position in your new field that would give you some valuable experience? Are there skills you hope to use in your new venture that you can offer to others now on a freelance basis? Writing down some answers to these questions will help anchor your mind and give you some forward momentum.

If you don’t know what your new career might be, the new year is just as magical for sparking the imagination. Next year at this time, where would you like to be? Is there something you wanted to become as a child that still interests you now? Do you have a hobby, such as selling antiques, that you might be able to spin off into a full-time business? What kind of things do you enjoy doing for others? Is there anything they might pay you for? No matter how far-fetched or unrealistic your ideas might seem, they can help point you in a new, more fulfilling direction.

The only perfect time to start your new career is now. The beauty of a new year lets us set course with a clearer outlook and renewed intentions. If you’ve been looking for a sign, consider that this is it!