Very few people are able to make the decision to switch and then act on it with speed. Most of us need months, if not years, to begin planning. If you’re hoping for a change, here are some actions you should be taking now:

Use your network to find people who are already doing the job you want. “This will help you get a realistic sense of the career, including details to which you may not have had access before. These contacts will also be great in helping you find a position because recommendations often lead to successful job placement,” says executive coach Busisiwe Hlatshwayo.

READ MORE: Career change check-list

Let your network, including friends and family, know you’re planning to make a change. This puts you top of mind when they hear about opportunities that could provide what you’re looking for. The more people you have looking out for openings for you, the better. “Start sending your CV to recruiters and companies now. Most people underestimate the amount of time it takes to get a job in a new industry,” advises Cooper.

Plan ahead for any tools your new trade could require. This can include equipment, clothing and sometimes even additional staff members. “I always tell clients that preparation is mandatory in making a life-changing shift,” says Hlatshwayo.

READ MORE: How to change careers without checking out of work and life

“This is the time to buy that new laptop and whatever software you may need. It’s also the time to put other pieces in place for that transition. Your new career might need you to hire a nanny, for example, so now’s the time to start putting out feelers. Your new business might mean you need a bigger car, so this is a good time to start researching the vehicles that match your needs, test-driving them and seeing what you can afford to purchase. If your new career means dressing well and doing presentations, start shopping now to create a wardrobe that will be in line with where you’re going,” she says.

Don’t wait until you’ve made the leap to do things that can be done now.