Making a career change is an exciting time. You may be finally taking the steps to a dream job you’ve always wanted. But it can also feel daunting and overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider, such as time, your current schedule, money, and potential training.
Before putting the necessary actions in place, take a moment to sit down and review these various steps to make sure you’re making the change for all the right reasons and as smoothly and stress-free as possible.
Consider your current job satisfaction
Take a moment to think about why you want to leave your job and change careers. Are you unhappy with your employers? Are you too stressed? Are you no longer passionate about the work? The Covid-19 pandemic forced many of us to reflect on our lives and provided an invaluable opportunity to make some changes. This is shown by the increase in graduate programs during the pandemic, with a rise of 4.4% in the spring of 2021.
There are many valid reasons to make a change, but being sure about your motives will help you weather the ups and downs of this process. Last year, Joblist carried out a Midlife Career crisis survey which looked at reporting on the top five reasons people want to make a career change. Their findings showed that 47% of people desired better pay, while 39% felt too stressed and 37% wanted a better work-life balance.
If you’re finding recurring themes in your current satisfaction and previous roles, it can help guide you when it’s time to move on and make a significant change.
Assess your skills
You might already have what it takes to make a career change, but many people need to factor in re-training to follow their dreams. For example, suppose you’ve been working in banking but decide it’s finally time to pursue your calling to become a nurse. In that case, you’ll need to look into getting officially qualified with a nursing education masters. This will require a lot of thought about making this work while also honoring your life commitments and still earning money (if needed). Luckily, a lot of training can be done online, and you might need to refine a few skills for a new role which can often be done online for free.
Research the job market
Getting qualified is one step; finding work is the next. Check out job options and opportunities in the industry you’re looking to enter, and consider:
- Would it be worthwhile to get some work experience or shadow someone?
- Could you do freelancing on the side with your current job to enter the market more gently?
- Who can you speak to in the area of your interest to learn more about the type of work? Do you already know people in this job area you can talk to?
- Are there lots of job opportunities, or is it very competitive? This could impact your long-term action plan, an essential part of your overall career switch process that will offer more success.