You’re not the same person that you were when you first joined the workforce; life happened, events were experienced, and you learned from any mistakes you have made (hopefully!). As a result, you grew as a person, developed new interests, and discovered skills you didn’t realize you had. It’s no wonder that you might be entertaining the idea of a different career. However, if you’ve climbed a significant portion of the career ladder in your current industry, it’s not exactly a thrilling thought to start at the bottom of an entirely new field all over again. A new career might seem exciting, but is it really the right move for you? Here are a few things that you would have to consider before you make the switch:
Do you really hate your current job?
Yes, it might get boring and frustrating doing the same thing 40 hours a week, but do you really hate your job enough to completely leave it? Once you start down a path of switching careers, it can be very difficult to switch back, so you need to be sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. If your inner reflections reveal that it’s your boss/colleagues/job that you hate, then maybe you just need to find ways to make work more tolerable or put some feelers out for a different job within the same industry. It’s still a hassle, but it’s a lot less work than starting from scratch somewhere else.
You’ll have to start at the bottom:
Whatever career you’ve chosen next, you will have to start all over again. Unlike when you were in college and you were free to experiment with different options, everything you do from here on has to be in service to your new career path if you want to get there faster.
Say you’ve decided that you want to pursue a new career in the fashion industry; you’ll likely have to go back to school to get the proper qualifications and find a job within the industry that can pay your bills and give you some relevant experience. Since you’re starting from the bottom, most jobs available to you will be in retail clothing stores, so make sure that you read this if you plan on filling out a Victoria’s Secret application. If you’ve realized pretty early on that you made a bad career choice, then starting from scratch might not be such a hassle as long as you’re sure that you are following the right career path for you.
You need a plan:
Resist the urge to march into your boss’ office and hand in your resignation once you decide that you want a career change; you still need a job while you come up with a viable plan for your next endeavor. Take your time and start by narrowing your options. Start by deciding on what you don’t want to be doing. If you hate doing paperwork in your current career, you can eliminate admin and office jobs. You can free yourself from being chained to a desk by choosing an outdoor job or one that involves more movement. If you’re hoping to end up in a top position one day, a five year plan can outline the steps that you need to take to get there. Your plan should outline how you’re paying for new qualifications, the position you’re hoping to get, and where you hope to end up after a few years of experience. The options are endless, but your perfect job is out there waiting for you.
You need the skills:
Chances are you won’t have the necessary qualifications for the new job that you want. But don’t let this put you off! You can learn the skills that you need by going back to school full time, through an online course, or signing up for part-time classes. Even if you change your mind all over again, furthering your career with education is never a bad thing. Studying part time while maintaining a job will show employers that you have enough drive and motivation to go after something you want. The degree itself will also help you develop a wide range of skills in addition to learning about the subject itself. If you don’t quite have the funds for a formal education, you could also try volunteering to gain some valuable skills and experience.
There is nothing worse than going to a job that you despise every day. Switching careers can be a scary thing but can have a major payoff once you’re at an amazing new job!
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