Finding a new job is not always easy. Making a career change, on the other hand, is even more challenging.
However, making the change and reinventing your career becomes much easier when you take some time to plan it out. No matter your age or the position in your current career, having an adequate strategy in place can be of great help.
Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind if you’re contemplating making a switch to a new career field:
Changing a Job vs. Changing a Career
The first thing to consider is that there’s a big difference between changing your job and changing your career.
As you already know, changing a job involves switching to a similar position under a different employer. On the other hand, changing a career involves switching to an entirely different industry and, therefore, a different type of position.
A career change may mean starting from scratch. You may have to start in a low-level position. It can also mean additional education and retraining.
Unlike changing a job, changing a career is far more complicated and sometimes takes a bit of bravery and a leap of faith. There are major obstacles to overcome, but it’s not something that can’t be done.
Are Your Ready to Make a Change?
In some cases, people aren’t even aware they need to switch careers.
A good sign that you need to make a change is when you’re doing everything you can to take time off. The thought of going back to work makes you cringe.
Here are some warning signs that indicate that it’s time to swap careers:
- Are you thinking about quitting or retiring all the time? At times, all of us think about escaping work. However, thinking about it obsessively means that your current career isn’t for you anymore.
- Do you dread every time you have to go to work? It’s a pretty good signal that you’re dealing with increased stress on the job or experiencing low job satisfaction.
- Does it feel like you’ve been doing the same thing for what seems like forever? Your job has run its course if you can’t set any goals or create a professional development plan.
- Is your job boring and prevents you from getting anything done? People who can’t stand their jobs often procrastinate about doing crucial tasks. They accomplish less and less during typical workdays.
- Are you stressed and can’t attribute your stress to anything other than work? If so, making a career change may be necessary – health is not something to joke about.
- Are you always complaining about work? Regardless of who you’re working for, you may simply not want to do your job anymore.
Gearing Up for a New Chapter
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and switch careers, make sure to do your homework and prepare yourself. Here’s how to gear up for a new chapter in your life:
Get Financially Fit
Those who decide to switch careers typically make less income initially. Starting a business makes things even more complicated, as that requires some capital for startup expenses.
Work on your finances. Do a budget. To make the career change more feasible financially, think about where you could cut back spending.
Will you struggle to refinance your mortgage? Moving somewhere where the cost of living is lower (like a smaller town) could be a smart solution.
Run an Account of Your Skills
Doing an internal review of your current skills and interests can come in handy when you’re filling out job applications.
Write down the formal education you received. Include certifications and licenses you’ve attained. Include all work-related workshops, seminars, and courses you participated in. Review your soft skills, too.
Next, list all capabilities you have in other areas. These can include public speaking, fluency in another language, etc.
Moreover, jot down all software you can work with, such as graphics programs, spreadsheet applications, and so on.
Don’t limit yourself only to those skills you learned at work. For example, those who worked as treasurers for their local community organizations often have proficiency with budgeting and financial management.
It doesn’t matter how you grew your skills – what matters is that the employer needs them.
Seek out individuals who work in the field that interests you. Informal chats can be of great help, so make sure to always ask for another name or two.
Furthermore, keep in mind that working as a volunteer or an intern at the beginning isn’t so bad. Not only will you have the extra experience to show on your résumé, but you’ll also get a sense of the fit before jumping in.
Switching to a new career field can be tough, but it can also change your life for the better. Taking some time to think it through before taking the leap is crucial. A well-informed decision is always the best decision.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.