Are you unhappy in your current job and considering a career change or feeling frustrated by the lack of progression in your role?
However – the decision to start a career change process can feel incredibly daunting as usually, it’s a big decision that inevitably impacts everything aspect of your life, so there are multiple factors to consider before taking the plunge; is making you hesitate?
Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before making a career change.
1. What’s causing my unhappiness?
Before you can decide whether or not to make a change, first figure out what’s causing your unhappiness at your current job. Is your boss micromanaging you? Are you bored with the work you’re doing? Do you dislike your co-workers? Once you identify the source of your unhappiness, you can decide whether or not a career change is a right solution. For example, if you’re unhappy because of your co-workers, changing jobs may not help as you may just end up in a toxic work environment again. However, if you’re bored with your work, or want to develop new skills changing jobs either internally or externally may give you the fresh start and new challenges that you’re looking for.
2. Do I have the skills for a different role or industry?
Changing careers may mean starting at the bottom and working your way up again. That can be tough if you don’t have the right skill set for your aspirational role. If you’re considering a pivot career change, take some time to assess your skillset and explore if it aligns with the new role or industry you’re interested in. If not, can you acquire the necessary skills through online courses or on-the-job training? It’s also important to consider transferable skills—skills that are relevant in any industry such as strong communication or interpersonal skills. Transferable skills can help set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs in a new industry.
For example, if you’re currently working in customer service and want to transition into marketing, some of the transferable skills that would come in handy are: being able to understand customer needs, being able to think creatively, and being able to handle rejection well. Those are all important skills in marketing! Even if you don’t have direct experience in the new industry or role you want, having transferable skill sets can compensate for a lack of experience.
3. Can I afford it?
A career change often means taking a pay cut—at least at first—as you learn the ropes of your new role or industry. Before making any major decisions, crunch the numbers and see if a pay cut is something that’s feasible for your current financial situation. You should also factor in any additional costs associated with changing careers such as new clothes for an office job or tuition for courses to acquire the necessary skills for your new role.
Alternatively, try the new role out as a side hustle or in volunteering or placement – you will be amazed at how well received these options are by future and current employers.
4. Am I prepared for a longer job search?
If you have made the decision that the career change is not going to be found in your current organisation be prepared that finding a job in an entirely new field can be even harder. Be prepared for a longer job search and factor that into your decision-making process. If you’re currently employed, can you afford to be unemployed for several months while searching for a new job? What can you do to ‘bridge the gap’ If not, does your current employer offer flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting or part-time hours that would allow you to continue working while also looking for a new job?
5 . What do my family and friends think?
Making any major life decision—let alone a decision that will affect your career—isn’t easy, so it’s important to get input from people whose opinions matter to you such as family and friends. Talk to them about your plans and get their perspectives on things. They may raise valid concerns that hadn’t occurred to you! And finally…trust your gut! At the end of the day, only YOU know what’s best for YOU so trust yourself and follow your heart when making this decision!
Changing careers is a big decision with lots of factors to consider! Use this list of questions asa starting point when trying to figure out if changing careers is right for YOU!
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