7 Things to Consider Before Commencing a Career Change

Mar 7, 2019 by

Do you find yourself occasionally pushing down feelings of dread regarding your chosen career? You are not alone; 60% of Americans share the same sentiments.

However, changing careers can be an isolating, expensive and unnerving task. But when it becomes clear that your current career is untenable, how do you navigate a career change?

Here are the essential things to consider before making this bold move.

1. The Problem: Is it Your Job or Your Career?

Look at the specific things you are weary about when it comes to your career. What areas of your job do you hate?

Is your dissatisfaction as a result of your career or is it factors in your current workplace?

These questions will inform your move as well as help you pick something that you will be happy with. If the issues stem from your employer, then changing employers is all you will need to do.

2. How Your Skill Set Measures up with a New Career

Here, asses what it is you love to do. The work-life balance it gives you, the opportunities available and the remuneration.

There are free online tools today that can help you do a career assessment based on your aptitude, skills, and personality. These tests can help you align with a career that is a better fit for you.

3. Consider Career Alternatives

At this point, you should have 1 to 3 alternative career picks. If not, it’s probably important to contact a career counselor to guide you through the process.

Will the new career necessitate some academic qualifications that require you to go back to school? If it does, do you have the resources to do so?

If you want a change that will not necessitate studying for it, then pick what’s within your scope.

4. Does Your Resume Support the Change?

If your education background differs from your new career path, you will need to work around this. Still, do not overlook the experience and soft skills you can bring to your new role.

Find connections between what you have done before and how it fits into your new role.

Ensure to highlight these on your resume. Some of the skills you can leverage include communication skills, networking, and leadership and managerial skills.

There are online resume examples that can help you redo your resume. The beauty about them is they are specifically designed with various careers in mind. For this reason, they will help capture what employers in specific fields are looking for.

5. Job Availability

With your picks in mind, start looking for opportunities in that field.

  • Look at the job descriptions of job adverts and how you measure up.
  • Look at internships, shadowing opportunities and volunteer openings in your field of interest.

If you have personal contacts in your chosen field, it does not hurt to convey your interest. Ask about any possible openings you can be referred for.

Similarly, don’t ignore your workplace. Depending on the work culture, you can take up a new career within the same organization.

This will have an added advantage as you are already familiar with the organization and its operations.

6. Career Changes Can Take Time

While the dream would be to pick a completely new career and start working, it’s unlikely to be this easy.

In addition, depending on the level of transferable skills you have, you might find yourself in an entry-level position or even an internship.

While this can seem like a setback, it will help you build a foundation for the new career. Allowing yourself ample time to find your footing will prevent you from getting discouraged by the process.

7. Financial Readiness

Finances are a key consideration when making a career change. Your new job might be on a lower level, which means taking a pay cut.

When it becomes clear that you’re going for a career change, a saving plan should top your to-do list. When you take the plunge, you might have to draw from your savings to stay afloat.

This is before you get a promotion or enough experience to get a better-paying opportunity.

Making the Move

When you become painfully aware that you need a career change, the next step should be planning and exploring your options. Handling this process well will push you a step closer to the job and career of your dreams.

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