December 5, 2022

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Changing Your Career Course – What You Need To Know

We frequently begin our careers before genuinely understanding ourselves and what we want. This can lead to a great deal of dissatisfaction later on as we realize that what we intended when we started working no longer applies to where – and who – we are now. Simply put, a career change is the decision to switch from one profession to another. This is sometimes a diagonal move to a similar career rather than a radical change. For others, it can represent a new way of working and moving into a new industry.

Changing careers can be an overwhelming and intimidating prospect. So, before you make the switch, you should consider whether you need a new challenge or want to change your career path altogether. Of course, changing careers is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, a well-planned transition can be advantageous, whatever your reasons for wanting to do something different are.

Consider what opportunities are available, what you hope to gain from a career change and whether this is the right move. This article has compiled a list of the most important factors to think about when considering a career change.

5 things to consider

Whether you’ve reached your limit and cannot advance in your current role, or you want to challenge yourself by applying your skills in a different setting, there are various reasons why you might be considering a career change. Some people, such as those transitioning into self-employment, may need a change of scenery or schedule to fit around other commitments. Here are five things you should consider before, during or after you take the plunge.

The reasons – It is critical to take a step back and consider whether you are thinking about changing careers for the right reasons. Are you dissatisfied with your current position and convinced that the grass is greener on the other side? Why not list the benefits and drawbacks of a career change? This will help you put things into perspective and ensure you’re making the right decision.

The majority of people will change jobs simply because of a salary increase, but a higher salary isn’t the only factor to consider. Annual leave, free parking, subsidized lunches and retirement contributions should all be considered. These may not be included in your pay, but they provide clear financial benefits. Unhappiness with one’s current job is another common reason for wanting to change careers. This could be due to industry changes, incompatibility with your co-workers, a desire to have a meaningful job or simply a willingness to try something new.

Development and growth – Even if the new role appears to be a lateral move or the job is in the same industry, changing careers to work for a company that offers a more promising career path is worthwhile. Finding out if the prospective employer will invest in your professional development by providing formal career counseling or technical training is imperative.

Consider the learning curve you encountered when you first started your current job. First, there was probably a period of rapid adaptation, followed by a more extended period of learning the finer points of your work. Ideally, you completed this phase by mastering your daily tasks and becoming an expert in your area of the organization’s operation. But are you capable of going above and beyond? By repeating this process in a new position, could you broaden your personal base of career-specific knowledge?

Personal growth can be interpreted in a variety of ways; it could mean being required to give presentations despite your dislike of speaking in front of large groups, or it could mean using your newly obtained degree and the skills you gained from online MBA programs to land the job of your dreams. Whatever it is, consider your long-term goals for self-actualization. If this new career path brings you closer to realizing your dreams, it may be worth the change.

Values – Identifying your values can point you towards a new and fulfilling career. You may become dissatisfied with your current job when you are too disconnected from your core values. You must be extremely clear about what you want from your new career. For example, is it essential to do good and help others? Or are you more interested in changing careers that will give you recognition and the opportunity to advance up the corporate ladder? Answering these questions will assist you in making a positive career change. 

Examine previous roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to determine your preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your current job addresses your core values and skills.

Transferable skills – Diving into a new career can be intimidating for some people, especially if you choose a job that requires a set of skills you don’t already have. Concentrate on skills that are transferable to any career. If you have managerial experience, for example, you can apply it to any industry. If you have technical skills or sales experience, you can use them in various fields. You may find it easier to transition to a new career and find an employer willing to hire you if you identify your transferable skills. A career change should always be positive.

Finances – Looking at the numbers is an excellent place to start when considering a career change. How will this type of change affect your finances? Will it delay your retirement or make it more difficult for your children to attend college? Will you be making more money or less money? Can your family cope with the possibility of losing your income while you get back on your feet? What will happen to your current financial obligations while transitioning to your new job?

This is not to say that you must earn more money to change careers. On the contrary, many people find that lowering their tax bracket makes them happy. What you need to know is what will happen with your financial future. If your answers to those questions are satisfactory, you may be able to change fields. If not, you should think about it more carefully before changing careers. It’s always a matter of weighing risks and benefits.

See the signs

Are you wondering if it’s time to change careers? Please look at our warning signs that it’s time to reconsider. Then, if any of these sound familiar, figure out your passions, retrain and make the change.

  • Listen to your body

Do you experience Sunday-night terror? If you do, it’s probably time to consider quitting your job. It’s no coincidence that these anxious moods appear on Sunday nights — your body is telling you that it knows what’s going to happen on Monday and isn’t happy about it. Headaches, muscle tension and migraines are all signs from your body that you’re in the wrong job.

If you’re constantly exhausted and bored, you should break down your job into different components to figure out what’s causing the problem. Which aspect drains you the most? Is it the subject on which you’re working? What about the long commute? Are your co-workers exhausting you? Getting specific about what isn’t working will reveal precisely what needs to be changed. First, consider whether your dissatisfaction stems from the nature of the job.

  • Complacency

With each passing day, you feel increasingly disconnected from your original reasons for entering the field. You’ve mentally checked out; you’re underperforming, your deadlines are slipping and you no longer have the energy to fake enthusiasm for the company’s mission, but this isn’t typical of you. So, what exactly is going on? The truth is that even if you love your job, there will be times when it feels like work. However, suppose you can’t recall the last time you felt energized by a new idea or invigorated by your next project. In that case, it’s time to reconsider your role.

  • Stalemate

Your job responsibilities are the same every day. Every day looks and feels the same — you’re just going through the motions. You feel undervalued as if your time and talents are being squandered and your best abilities aren’t being utilized. Demoralized, you’ve stopped actively seeking out new opportunities to contribute. It’s time to find a new role that plays to your strengths, allows you to learn new skills and will enable you to make a difference. Your career should increase rather than decrease your self-esteem.

  • You’re not yourself

Working feels like putting on a show. You’re not sure how it began, but you’re different. As you walk to work daily, you can almost feel the mask falling over your face. Perhaps you’re more aggressive and competitive. You’re constantly trying to impress your boss, hit goals and meet deadlines, but that’s not who you are. Or maybe you disappear at work, keeping quiet and your head down. You’re confident and playful at home or with your friends, but at work, you shrink. Whatever the transition from ‘work’ you to ‘not-work’ you looks like, it’s unpleasant. It doesn’t feel right to be spending so much time acting.

  • Embarrassed 

It isn’t easy to talk about your job. You dread the inevitable question at parties: “So, what do you do?” You’re not proud of your response, so you dismiss it quickly and jokingly with a shrug. People you care about have stopped asking you how things are at work because they know what you’ll say. Maybe it’s an ongoing joke among your friends that you despise your job; you’ve spent long hours waxing lyrical about how awful it is. Perhaps you’ve stopped discussing it with your family because they don’t understand, and it’s become a giant, uncomfortable elephant in the room.

  • Bad habits

You find yourself overindulging in bad habits. It could be because you are unhappy at work, which takes up most of your waking hours every weekday. When we are sad or unfulfilled in one area of our lives, we often try to alleviate that discomfort with external distractions. It’s a red flag if you’ve increased your daily consumption of the following: trash TV, trash social media, alcohol, junk food, online shopping or toxic relationships.

Recognizing even one of the indicators on this list may indicate that it is time to change careers. Even if you say “no” to everything else on this list, if you find yourself daydreaming about a new job more than you engage in your current one, it may be time to change careers.

Final words

Changing jobs or careers is one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through. Indeed, it is the most stressful life event, according to some estimates, after death, marriage and divorce! However, because the economy views career change as a positive, a new job may be just what you need to advance your career.

There are also personal connections. If you work in an office, you’ve almost certainly become friends – or at least acquainted – with your co-workers. When you leave your job, you say goodbye to these people, as well as the teamwork and sense of collaboration you’ve developed throughout your time together.

Suppose you’ve been in the same job for your entire professional life or even just a few years. In that case, it’s time to consider whether you’re doing it because you genuinely enjoy it or are afraid of making a change. If it’s the latter, you might want to consider changing careers. On the other hand, you may have already considered changing careers but have not taken the necessary steps. Perhaps something is compelling you to look into new opportunities, or maybe you are completely burned out or bored with your current job.