5 Things to Think About Before Changing Careers
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
The great Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "Change is the only constant in life." And the fear that comes with it is the other constant.
Changing from a fixed direction to something new is quite a challenge, no matter the reason. The age factor contributes an additional element of the fear factor to that decision.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 70% of workers are actively considering a career change, and surprisingly, 40% of those who recently changed jobs are again looking for a new job.
There are many reasons for changing career paths or positions.
Here are a few reasons people change careers.
Do any of them resonate with you?
Before we begin to list of our recommendations once you decide a career switch, let's dive into the top reasons of the switchers.
1. Higher income
One of the most popular reasons to change careers is to increase your salary.
Your earning potential can grow, and your financial security and life standard can improve when you switch careers.
Depending on your expertise and level of education, you may change to a higher-paying job.
2. Pursue an interest
Some people realize that their chosen career is not the best one.
They may have a passion for a particular subject or activity and believe they are happier doing what they enjoy. By changing your profession, you can pursue your passions and work on things that make you happy.
You may begin pursuing your passion after hours or on weekends until you can generate enough revenue to quit your day job.
3. Improve your work-life balance.
If you feel like your energy is depleted or you are constantly working and never have time for yourself or your family, you can consider changing careers to find one that gives you more freedom and less stress.
A career change can improve your work-life balance and your overall well-being.
You may consider and prioritize which is more essential for you: Making more money or spending more time on your interest and with your family.
4. Gain expertise
People often change careers to gain experience in a particular field or company. They often want to expand their knowledge base or acquire new skills.
A career change can give you the expertise you need to grow and develop professionally, especially if you think you are stuck in a position where there are no new challenges, only repetitive and boring tasks you have already mastered.
5. Take on a new challenge
A monotonous job can be a significant source of dissatisfaction for some people.
They may feel that their current position does not challenge them enough and want a change to something more interesting. You could find more exciting and challenging work if you switch jobs.
I remember a friend who was a professor at a well-known university who switched her job and became a Social Studies teacher at a public high school. Her reasoning was to make a difference in the lives of young people rather than publishing articles almost nobody reads.
I know many people constantly changing careers, from teaching to software development, cybersecurity expert, finance to human resources, etc., or vice versa, mainly when there has been a labor shortage since the pandemic started.
Amando Carrado is another example who switched her job from the finance sector to become a Talent Acquisition Specialist. She made her big step while making a decent income, but finance was not her passion, and she did not want to do this in her entire life. She is excited about her new role and happy to help the team grow and find great talent for her company.
5 Things to Think Before Making the Switch
So now that you have thought about changing careers, let us discuss some well-thought-out strategies that could give you the edge you need.
1. Consider getting another job within the field.
Many people change careers because they are unhappy with their current position.
However, think carefully before taking a significant risk and changing your entire career. Is this really what you want to do? Consider changing jobs or positions within a similar field or asking for a promotion or higher pay if you feel stressed at work or think your compensation is inadequate.
While it's not easy to find a new job, it's much easier than a complete career change.
For example, you may still stay in the education field and take some support positions if you start hating teaching in the classroom, such as a counselor, advisor, coordinator, assistant principal, or other district-level jobs.
However, you are always free to make decisions about your life if you are sure you will be successful in another field.
Further Reading: Tips for Teachers to Get a Job in School Administration
2. Identify your interests and build your skills.
The first and most crucial step in a career change is understanding who you are. Think about your past. Use self-assessment resources to evaluate all of your interests.
A career coach also can point you in the right direction. Once the identification is complete, begin developing skills. Create a flowchart that shows how you can build your desired talents.
A career coach can also give you advice in this section. You may also talk to people in that field about what it entails to get there.
A series of courses, another degree, a certificate, or just passing an exam?
How much time do you need to spend to build new skills? Do they interest you?
3. Identify available employment opportunities
To find employment opportunities, conduct market research. Make a short list of some of them and consider the following:
What do you want from a job?
Are you competent enough to take the job?
How different will the environment be?
How much effort can you put in?
How much worse will it be?
The opportunities must match your interests and skills if you want to be successful. You may need the support of a career coach or a friend (or friend's friend!) as you move into an unfamiliar territory.
Further Reading: Why You Need a Five Year Career Plan and How to Create One
4. Create an action plan.
Planning is paramount to any successful action.
The first step in the planning process is to set your big goal and a timeline for getting there.
Determine key turning points, such as what courses you will have to take or that bootcamp to attend and for how long, when, and with whom you will begin networking, and when you will leave your current job, etc.
The transition will go more smoothly if you have a solid action plan in place.
5. Attend a career coaching session for guidance.
You can seek advice from professionals at any stage of your career, such as career planning, career transition, job search, job change, resume writing, interview preparation and networking.
It is highly recommended that you meet with career coaches. Career coaches give advice and help you find the path to your goals. They will help you discover your talents and skills and advise you on how to develop them. The topic of career change is a sensitive one.
When you start a new career, it is essential to track your development. You can stay motivated by tracking your growth and observing how far you have come.
Keep a journal, set goals, and recognize your accomplishments and challenges.
As the legendary Jim Rohn points out, things seem different when you write them down on paper, which may change your life.
You may need to start at the bottom in your new career and work your way up regardless of where you are currently.
Changing your career is undoubtedly tricky, but don't look back once you decide to change it. Devote your evenings or weekends to learning the necessary skills to jump up the new job you have always been passionate about.
It's equally important to know your strengths and admit to yourself that you still have a lot to learn about the details of your new field. You will move up faster if you know your value while appreciating and learning from your others.
Recommended books for career change:
Find Your Lane: Change your GPS, Change your Career
Grad to Grown-Up: 68 Tips to Excel in Your Personal and Professional Life
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success
Work from the Inside Out: Break Through Nine Common Obstacles and Design a Career That Fulfills You
The Company Doesn't Love You: Be the CEO of Your Own Career
Disclaimer: The links mentioned above are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission from them at no cost to you when you purchase from them. Regardless, I only recommend products I believe will tremendously help my readers.