Career Matters: 7 Things to Think about When Making a Career Change
The desire to change gears and switch careers may have been inside you for some time. Without sounding too dramatic, you want something new that can give you money, advancement, flexibility, or a sense of purpose, among other things.
Also, people do change careers more often than you think. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has no estimates for it, saying there’s no consensus on what constitutes a career change.
No one can stop your decision to find another opportunity, whether it’s from the same line of work or another. Here are tips to help you plan your next course of action as you transition into a new beginning.
Is it disillusionment, dissatisfaction, burnout, or fear of being stuck in a dead-end job forever? There’s no wrong or right reason for leaving, but because that’s a life-altering decision, introspection is in order. You may want to talk it out with your boss first to check your options, like a transfer, a more flexible arrangement, or a holiday (although it won’t cure burnout).
1. Understand the Reason for the Change
2. Put Your Finances in Order, and Be Frugal
An entirely different job can mean starting from the bottom and receiving a pay cut. A new business can eat up your life’s savings, or it can take a few months to land a new job. These scenarios all point to building an emergency fund to cover the period of reduced or lost income. This fund will cover your expenses as you search and weigh your options.
When you’re newly employed, don’t forget to check your finances once in a while. Make sure you are only spending within or below your budget to tide you over the next months. The expectation is you won’t make as much money while starting in your new career.
Think of taking up classes or finishing your master’s degree. Additional certifications will look good on your résumé. Because further education can be expensive, operate with a clear direction. Learning programming entails studying a language first. Once you have studied it, you can move on to another language and so on.
3. Upgrade Your Skills
4. Assess Yourself
The Harvard Extension School has listed down tools to help you assess yourself as part of your career change and development. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and personality traits can lead you to your dream job. One such self-assessment tool is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, with its 16 personality types.
It’s pretty understandable not to know what to do next after quitting a job, so go online, and find your match. Short-list prospects, read about them, talk with the practitioners, and familiarize yourself with the job’s qualifications through listings.
That’s not all. Get a real feel of the work by applying for an internship or volunteering. No one’s too old to learn a new trade, and it’s the best way to see if the new role is to your liking.
5. Research and Try It Out
6. Explore Gig Economy
Maybe all you need is flexibility in juggling work and life. Instead of finding a day job that keeps you occupied eight hours a day, you can try freelance work. Work on projects with greater autonomy and control over your time for as long as you meet your deadlines. Plus, there won’t be any office politics and rules.
Be physically fit to face interviews and tests for new employment. The time being in between jobs is about restoring your health and recovering from previous work stress and anxiety. Bank on sleep and rest. Also, engage in physical activities to boost stamina.
It’s also the best time to abstain from any substance because a drug test can crop up. You are not without an option to pass a mandatory drug test using the closest thing ever. However, you have to be wary and sure of your actions so as not to ruin the chance of finally getting the job of your dreams.
Here’s to a New You
Changing careers or jobs is never easy, but you’ll get there in time. Remember someone who said “Stay curious.” A visionary has this to add, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”