Changing your day to day job is not easy, but it is possible. As more people discover that their current work routine doesn’t give them the satisfaction it once did, the demand for training and fast paced programs increases, as a way to complement careers or start a new one. However, knowing how to make the transition keeps being one of the obstacles that keeps people stuck in their old jobs, thinking whether they should go ahead or not. Here we will provide questions and factors that will help you evaluate your current situation, and to decide if you really need a career change, and how to do it.
People have many reasons that drive them to change their career path. According to Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey, the top five reasons people change careers are:
“Nearly half of respondents switched jobs for better pay, a competitive reason and logical first spot on the list. Finances play a major role in job satisfaction and can affect a person’s likelihood of looking for new work. Money acts as a double-edged sword, though — on the one hand, workplace frustrations and low salaries can push workers into new opportunities; on the other, changing jobs can be risky if the opportunity doesn’t result in higher pay in the long run”, explained the Midlife Career Crisis survey article.
Likewise, every generation perceives work in a different way, as well as their role in the workplace. The survey registered that millennials were 20% more likely to consider a job change because of better pay, or because their previous job was too stressful. This generation tends to focus less on job loyalty, and look more for a work-life balance.
Besides the indicators the survey reflected, there are other factors to consider before taking the leap:
Are you Satisfied with your Current Job?
Think about what you like and dislike about your current job. Do you have a problem with the tasks that you have to perform, your coworkers, or the company culture? Is it something that can maybe be fixed by going into a different company, without having to change careers? Try to be honest with yourself and determine if the problem can be fixed, or if you need a bigger change. Write down the answers, or share them with a friend. It will help you get a better perspective.
Assess your Interests, Values, and Skills
Think about previous jobs and experiences you’ve had, and identify what you enjoyed doing. Ask yourself if your values and skills are taken into account in your current career, or you will need a different path more in accordance to your values. Try to focus on what you would be looking for, instead of what you are escaping from.
Check out Job Options
Explore several fields so you can increase your chances of finding the ones you like. Discard the ones that don’t match your profile, or your values. Do you see yourself performing that job? What feeling do you get when you imagine yourself in that situation. Consider researching working hours, if it’s possible to have regular hours, or if you will be doing odd hours. Think if you are willing to spend that time away from home for that job, since you might also consider a position that allows you more family time. Most of the information is available online.
Reach Out to People in Other Fields
After selecting the fields you would like to explore, reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informal interviews. A good source is your college alumni career network, like LinkedIn, other social media networks, or friends of friends who might be able to meet with you, just to give you a better look into the career you’re considering.
Making a list of all the questions you may have it’s also a good idea, since in that meeting there might be aspects you can forget.
Try it out
Find volunteer or internship opportunities that will allow you to get a sense of what the role entails, and test your interest. For example, If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter, and again make all the questions you have about the role.
Being able to try a different career without having to commit to it, will give you the freedom to test it, make mistakes, test the working hours, the environment, and the demands. It will also be a learning opportunity even if you decide not to go ahead with that career option.
Upgrade your skills
Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Sometimes you don’t need to try something entirely different and start from zero, but just take a course that can complement the skills and profession you already had. Consider taking an evening course at a local college, or an online course that’s flexible enough to adapt to your working hours, like the courses and schedules we offer at ERP College.
A good idea is to take these steps while you are still at your current job, so you have later the financial means to make the change.
As for the results that changing careers may bring, the survey conducted by Joblist reported that the “respondents who took the plunge and changed professions reported a variety of positive outcomes. The majority of workers surveyed expressed feeling happier, more satisfied and fulfilled, and less stressed after moving on to a new career. Overwhelmingly, respondents did not experience regret when changing careers: Over 80% of survey participants said they wish they would have made the change sooner”.