Published 27 December 2018 Category: Compass Tips, Career Development

How to Go About a Career Change

Just like eating the same breakfast every morning or having the same hairstyle throughout your adult life can get boring, so can working the same job for many years. Whether it’s because their interests and values have changed or because they don’t feel like they have room for advancement at their current job, millions of people decide to change career path at some point in their professional lives.

Despite what some may say, it is never too late to make a career change, no matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or even 60s. If you want to challenge yourself, explore new areas of interest, escape a toxic working environment, or find a renewed sense of purpose, switching careers is always a possibility.

When Is the Right Time for a Job Change?

Before you make the big move, you need to make sure that you’re really in need of a career change and not just experiencing a temporary rut. If you’re often complaining about work, experiencing signs of work-related stress, and finding more and more projects that you’re working on boring and uninspiring, a prolonged break from work – preferably a holiday – may be all you need to fix the issue.

However, if you’ve been experiencing these sentiments for what seems like an eternity, a career change might be your best chance at finding professional satisfaction again. This is especially true if you dread going to work every morning and/or are so fixated on the idea of quitting your current job that you don’t even care whether or not you have a backup plan in case you decide to follow through.

If you find yourself focusing more on quitting your job than on doing it to the best of your ability, it might be time to move on. Furthermore, if you feel jealous when your friends talk about how happy they are at their current jobs, it is another sign that you might be ready for a big career change.

8 Tips for a Successful Career Change

If you’re looking for career change advice, the following eight tips will surely help you.

1. Assess Your Current Professional Situation

As soon as you start toying with the idea of switching careers, it might be a good idea to start keeping a work journal. In it, you should write about your tasks, your reactions to them, as well as the atmosphere in the office. This will help you assess your job satisfaction and determine if your colleagues, your company’s office culture, or the content of your work have anything to do with your problems.

2. Consider Other Jobs in the Same Industry

Unless you are completely disillusioned with your current job and can’t see any room for professional development, you should consider finding another job in your industry. This way, you could rely on your existing professional skills, thus avoiding having to attend courses to upgrade your knowledge or skill set.

3. Write Down Your Skills, Values, and Interests

If you have firmly decided against staying in the same industry, you should start your new career search by writing down your skills, values, and interests. Make note of all the roles you have performed in the past and the projects you have worked and identify the core values and skills that they have in common.

4. Come Up with Possible New Careers

After you have listed all your skills and interests, it is time to come up with possible new careers. You can discuss your skills and values with your colleagues and friends or look for career opportunities online. There are also some online tools that show you career suggestions based on the skills you specify.

5. See What Options You Have

Once you have settled on a few potential new career paths, it is time to check out all the jobs that are available. Use Google to find more information about the positions and/or companies you’re interested in. If you need more information, use LinkedIn to find contacts that can help with your career change.

6. Get a First-Hand Experience

To be sure that you’re making the right decision, you should have a first-hand experience at the job you’re interested in before you make the big move. You can either try your hand at freelancing and volunteering in the industry you choose or opt for job shadowing. The latter allows you to see how a professional in that industry does their job, what the job entails, and what their workday looks like.

7. Start Upgrading Your Knowledge

If after all this you’re still sure that you want to switch careers, it is time to start upgrading your knowledge. Determine what additional skills or knowledge you need to acquire for your future career and search for courses and classes that you can take. Since you’ll likely have to fit both learning and your existing job into your schedule, you should focus on evening or weekend classes. If you’re tech-savvy or prefer learning at your own pace, you should also investigate if there are some online courses available.

8. Make the Big Move

After you have invested all this time, money, and hard work in acquiring new skills and have completed all the courses you needed to complete, you can start applying for jobs in your industry of choice. Keep in mind that finding the right job could take a while, especially when you don’t have any experience in the field. For this reason, it might be a good idea to stay in your current job until you find a new one.