13 Things To Consider Before You Make A Career Change
15, Dec, 2019
13 Things To Consider Before You Make A Career Change
Author - Phil Baker

Have you been thinking about a career change? Are you frustrated, or do you feel it is time for a new career move? If your answer is yes, you need to think hard about the realities of switching careers. For a start, you are about to join millions of people making similar career moves.
Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average worker holds upwards of 10 different jobs before the age of 50. Another report shows about 6.2 million workers (4 percent of the total workforce) moved from one occupational group to another from 2015-2016.
People make career switches for several reasons. These include lack of career satisfaction, redundancy, search for happiness, work flexibility, new challenges, and change in values. You can also change careers to follow your passion. Whatever the reason for your decision, you need to prepare adequately for this move. This guide looks at some crucial considerations before making this big career move.

Crucial Considerations Before A Career Change

Changing careers is not an easy decision. Many people have done it at the spur of the moment only to regret the decision. After investing years in training and working, you want to make the right decision. Here are some important tips for changing careers to guide you through this phase:

  1. Start With Self-Assessment

    Before making this career move, take time to consider your values. Indeed, your current career isn’t satisfactory, but before making a big leap, you need to know what you want. Many people make mistakes in life because they don’t understand their core values. If you know what you want in life, it’s easier to make the right decision about your career.
  2. Figure Out the ‘Why’

    When deciding to change careers, take some time to think hard about the motivation. Many people want to make career changes, but they’ve no definite reasons for such decisions. If you want to make a good decision in life, you’ve to ground it on concrete facts. Write down all your expectations in a career.

    Look at what you do now and check what doesn’t satisfy you. Identify all the flaws in your career and use these as the foundation for your new career search. This step helps you identify a career that meets your expectations. This way, you have a higher chance of finding a fulfilling career.
  3. Consider the Right Reasons for a Career Change

    Money alone should not be your motivation for changing careers. A bigger salary doesn’t translate to job satisfaction. You might end up more frustrated. For this reason, look for a deeper and more meaningful reason for changing your careers.
  4. Network and Connect With Others

    Making a career switch is a frightening decision. After working for many years in the same field, you’ve to start from the bottom once again. It is important to reach out to people in your target industry. You’ll learn about the options available, job prospects, challenges, and much more.
    Start developing contacts in your new career as they’ll come in handy when you start a job search. Use networking sites such as LinkedIn and other industry forums to create a contact list.
  5. Match your Skills

    It is easy to think about following your passion for your new career move, but do you have the necessary skills set? Are your skills transferrable to the new career? You should research the skills required in your new career and find ways to build your capacity. This equips you for the big move.

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  1. Prepare Financially

    A career transition will affect your finances. You might need to go back to school or take a pay cut in your new job. This calls for a change in your financial plans. Create a paystub and use it when assessing your current financial situation. You should start preparing early for these changes to avoid frustrations.
  2. Prepare for the Change Emotionally

    You’ve spent a lot of time building your career. This has become part of your identity, and a sudden change will affect you emotionally. You’ve to think hard about your new work, expectations, changes in lifestyle, working hours, and all other changes. Prepare emotionally for these changes to ensure a smooth transition.
  3. Start Working Part-Time

    If you’ve always dreamt about a career move, you can start making the switch gradually. There’re opportunities available for side jobs in any career. Start working part-time to gain the necessary experience. This also gives you a feel for your new industry.
  4. Consider Working with a Career Coach

    A career coach can guide you through this important phase in your life. These professionals assess your career needs, skills, and goals to help you. They also offer invaluable career change tips. Working with a career professional helps overcome any fears you’ve about your big career decision.
     
  5. Consider the Opportunities in your New Career

    The internet has made access to information easier. You should research about job prospects in your new career, projected growth in the industry and trends, among other things.
  6. Is it the Right Time for a Career Change?

    Some people think about moving from their careers for a lifetime but never make a move. To avoid stagnation, assess your current work and life situation. If there’s some stability in your life, you can make your move now. Avoid switching careers when a lot is going on in your life.
  7. Build a Support Network

    Switching careers is not easy, and you need all the support you can get. Your family and friends are your first line of support. Bring them in on your decision and enlist their support.
  8. Accepting it Won’t Be Easy

    Of course, you would like everything to move smoothly from your current career to the new one. However, the reality is that this move will be tough. You’ve to start over in a new workplace and industry and start making new friends. You’ve to start learning the office politics at your new job and so much more.
    There are also accompanying challenges including finances, part-time classes, and others. You should thus change your mindset and prepare for a tough stretch ahead.

Winding Up

You don’t have to struggle to make that career change. You now have enough information to guide you. You should take the time to think through the reasons for your decision. Avoid jumping ship for the wrong reasons to enjoy career satisfaction and happiness. At the same time, assess your values to help identify the right career to suit them.
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