There are several different reasons why people may conclude that it is time for them to change their careers.
In some cases, values or career goals may have shifted over time, while others may have found new interests that they want their job to reflect – perhaps they want a career with increased pay or more flexible hours.
Before leaving your current career, it is important to take the time to look at your current situation, consider your alternative career options, and decide which career path would lead to the most fulfilling outcome.
The advantages of changing your career
According to a Joblist survey, there are many benefits to making a career change.
According to respondents, 77% of those who made such a change were happier, 75% had greater job satisfaction, 69% felt more fulfilled in their careers, and 65% were also considerably less stressed than they had been in their previous employment.
Most people who made a career change also took home greater earnings.
Several steps need to be taken by those interested in changing their career.
Examine your current level of job satisfaction
Keep a daily record of your reactions to your current employment situation and see if there are themes that continue to come up.
Examine the aspects of your job that you like and dislike, and see if the latter are related to co-workers, the culture of your company, or the nature of the work itself.
During this process, you can do several things that can help you get ready for a career change if you decide that the time is right to do so.
It is a good idea to spend some time thinking about the factors that can be deal-breakers in any career or job, such as feeling like you are not being recognized for your work, a lack of purpose in the workplace as a whole, or too many long hours.
Working out the factors that are deal-breakers for you can help you develop a greater sense of your values and the type of work situation that would work best for you.
Assess your interests, skills, and values
Review the past positions, projects, jobs, and volunteer work you have taken part in successfully to determine which skills and activities you prefer.
This can enable you to determine whether your current career is helping you to address your core skills and values.
For example, suppose stability and security are of vital importance to you. In that case, you will want to find a career that offers more peace and financial security than is the case with some others.
Likewise, someone who wants to control their work life and has little time for rules and routines may wish to pursue a more freelance career that allows the freedom to work when and how they want.
Those who view their career through the prism of social values they want their work to help them achieve – such as wanting to help people, save the environment or save lives – would be suited to jobs that allow them to perform some service to the community or get involved in a cause.
Those interested in the law and how criminals are made may wish to change their career in such an area by taking a WLU criminology degree. Enrolling in a higher education course is a great step on your chosen career path, and studying online means that you can fit your coursework around your job.
There are several free tools online that can help you work out viable alternatives to your current career.
Considering different careers
It is a good idea to brainstorm alternative careers you could pursue instead of your current vocation by discussing your core skills and values with family members and friends, networking contacts, and researching other career options. Out is also good to get professional advice from a career counselor if you feel like you cannot come up with any viable ideas.
Examine job options
Conducting a preliminary evaluation to compare other fields can also be smart for those wanting a career change. Take the time to focus on two or three targets for particularly focused research.
By doing an online search for the types of jobs you are interested in, you will find a wealth of online information.
There are also several websites from which you can learn about the fastest-growing employment fields and the highest-paying jobs and firms within particular industries.
Once you have narrowed your search for a change of career down to a handful of potential job matches, the next step is to learn as much as you can about those other career options. Contact them for informational interviews if you have any personal contacts within those fields.
A college alum career network can often be a resource fording informational interviewers; LinkedIn is ab; LinkedIn excellent resource for discovering contacts within particular career sectors of intended.
Talk with professionals you know will have good things to say about you and will be willing to keep you in the loop regarding new opportunities.
Create a job shadow
It is a good idea to do some shadowing of professionals working in career fields that are of interest to you so that you can get to see what they do first-hand.
This shadowing can be from a couple of hours to a few days, and one of the best places to find alum volunteers who would be willing and able to host a job shadow would be your college’s career office.
Testing it out
It is a good idea to identify some freelance and volunteer activities that you could icipateparticipate in within your target career to test out your actual level of interest practically. For example, try editing a free newsletter if you want to get into publishing, or think about trying out for an auxiliary police officer position if you consider getting into law enforcement.
It is also a good idea to try to find any educational activities you could participate in that would help extend your existing skills into your desired new career.
Online courses are a good way to do this, as are one-day or weekend seminars.
Get suggestions on other activities you could do from professional groups in your desired field.
It is important to try to find ways to develop new skills while still in your current position that would help to facilitate a change of career, such as signing up for classes if your company is offering training courses in-house.
There are several ways that you can angle into the right position to change your career without necessarily having to go to college.
Same industry, different job
One possible route to a change in career is to consider finding a different role within your existing industry that could allow you to use the industry knowledge you already possess.
Making an action plan
Creating an action plan for your career change involves the definition of a clear goal and the milestones you will need to pass to accomplish it.
At this point, you should have done all of the required research involved in changing your career, and you should be able to identify a particular occupation that you want to switch to – meaning that the time has come to now think about what you will have to do to get there.
Several things can go into your action plans, such as certification and education, networking events, developing your skills, and taking any chance to practice within your desired field or industry.
Please make a list of the steps you will need to take to achieve your goal and a timeline in which you want to complete them all.
Before you begin applying to a whole new range of jobs, it can be important to do some personal rebranding.
Candidates looking for work need to use resources such as cover letters, resumes, and social media profiles to create a personal brand that will appeal to potential employers.
This can be even more crucial for those who want to change their career, as their everyday experience may not be aligned with the desired position unless some planning and thought have beenhaveet into redbone randing.
Think about how your experience will help you be a better candidate than your competitors, and put some thought into making a powerful personal statement regarding why you are the right choice for this position in your cover letters, resumes, and on business networking platforms.
It is also important to update your contact information, personal websites, and business cards so that they all emphasize your new branding.
There is no shortcut.
Taking your career in a new direction will not be easy and will probably take longer than you realize.
Trying to figure out what you want to do after deciding to leave your current career can be confusing and require a great deal of exploration and self-reflection. This will often be followed by a long schooling period to gain skills for your new career direction.
It is important to understand this and to keep in mind that it is unlikely that you will be an overnight success in a new career.
All successful business ventures result from days, months, and years of hard work until a breakthrough is finally achieved, and there are likely to be challenges and setbacks along the way. Perseverance is key to gaining traction and making steady progress.
Set the deadline
While making a career change is not something that should ever be taken lightly, there is also a danger in procrastinating for such a long time that the shift ultimately never takes place.
Therefore, it is important to set a deadline for when you will leave your current position and venture out to new pastures.
Trust your instincts
Planning a career change and following an action plan are all necessary and responsible, but at some point, you must take a leap of faith and trust your instincts that you are doing the right thing.
Once you have identified a career path you are certain is the right fit for you, trust your instincts and do not allow yourself to be dissuaded by others or overwhelmed by what you need to do to get on that path.
By the same token, if your instincts are warning you against a particular career, even if it is one that your existing skills may be suited for, it would be a good idea not to go down that road.
Everyone who embarks on a career change will go on a unique journey, and while there are some common patterns among those who have successfully changed careers, it is up to you and you alone to decide on the nature of your transition.
The feeling of being in the driver’s seat of your career and life is an exciting and empowering one, and making an effort to pursue work that will give you a feeling of meaning, excitement and fulfillment are one of the most rewarding challenges you will ever encounter.