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People seek a career change for a variety of reasons. You may desire more money, less stress, or more flexibility in your schedule, or you may have always desired to start your own business or turn a hobby into a career. Before making such a life-changing decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons, think realistically about the jobs for which you have the necessary skills and experience, and consider the best time to make the change.
Knowing When It’s Time For Change
To make the best decision, consider why you want to change careers in the first place. You can do this by checking in on the three ‘S’ rules. It could be time for a change if you can relate to any of the following.
- Stimulation – You may be considering a career change because you are bored at your current job. While this is a valid reason to look for something new, it is critical to investigate the source of your dissatisfaction. For example, do you have the occasional dull day, or are you no longer enthusiastic about your job? Of course, there are ways to change your routine, but if you’ve lost interest in your current position, it might be time to start looking for a new one. Would you be better suited to running your own business? These are all questions you should ask yourself when thinking about a new career.
- Stress – Do you procrastinate on your way to work and miss the energy you once had? Do you sleep less than you used to sleep before, or are you more prone to irritability or depression? Any of these issues could be signs of rising stress levels, an early warning system which indicates something isn’t quite right. In addition, stress can impact your immune system and mood, making you more susceptible to depression and colds & impairing performance.
- Self-Esteem – If you notice that your self-esteem is dwindling, it is time to reconsider working in that industry. Your professional difficulties do not begin and end with you. This negative energy will be passed on to people in your life, including friends and family. Making career decisions could alleviate all of this, as long as you choose wisely how to change careers.
What Career Should You Change To?
Taking small steps every day toward a career change is an excellent way to get started and narrow your options. For example, you could email a contact who works in an industry you’re interested in or research online courses that can provide you with the skills you need to make the leap. In addition, speaking with career advisers, professional coaches, and mentors and gaining work experience will help you eliminate possibilities and focus your job search. Here are some more tips to help focus your search as you find the perfect career for you.
- Take Stock – Begin a journal. Consider how your current job reactions affect your job satisfaction. Make a list of recurring themes, significant events, and your reactions to them. Ask yourself difficult questions such as, “What is it about the job that I like or dislike?” Respond to them, then read your responses. You’ll start to get a sense of what job satisfaction looks like for you based on your notes. During this time, you should also take a personal inventory of your skills, values, and interests relevant to the work you enjoy.
- Test The Water – People frequently talk about their jobs in absolute terms and wonder if their position is “the one,” when their careers are meant to be filled with exploration. To increase your chances of success, approach a career change with curiosity rather than looking for a perfect fit. As previously touched upon, another great way to explore a career change is by taking a course on something you feel you might be interested in. It could even be a complete career change. Perhaps you work in banking but have an interest in looking after people, in which case you could enroll in one of the online BSN programs for non-nurses at an institution such as Baylor University. Or you could already work in nursing and look for another sector of the healthcare industry to work in.
- Do Your Research – Conduct a preliminary comparative analysis of several fields to identify a few targets for further investigation. Then, simply Googling the jobs that interest you will yield a wealth of information.
When To Change Careers
If you’re unhappy at your current job, the best time to start looking for a new one is now, regardless of the season. No rule says you should or should not change jobs. The search can begin once you’ve determined your career objectives. Don’t expect all jobs to be advertised. Employers frequently recruit through word of mouth or headhunting, so cultivate a network of contacts among trusted ex-colleagues, friends, family, and business partners. Inform them confidently that you are looking at and considering all business contact points.
In general, there are three natural times in your career when a course-changing move can be made most efficiently. The first is when you’re just starting your career. Because you’re raw material and potential, employers believe they can train you to be whatever they require of you in their organization. The following stage is in mid-career. You’ve accumulated enough transferable and leverageable skills to make the leap. The third time is when you’re a senior. As a result, we frequently see people moving from the CFO of one company to the CFO of another in a completely different industry.
Although it can be tempting to over-analyze every aspect of your ideal job, realizing that it exists is only the first step. The best course of action is to begin acting on it. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and start something new immediately. Instead, test ideas while you’re still at your current job to see what fits best for you in terms of the work environment and job role.