If you’ve been feeling unsatisfied in your career or have lost a job, you’re not alone. A significant number of people seek to change their jobs at some point in their lives. Many are doing so this season.
A Gallup Poll survey recently confirmed that only 15 % people found meaning in their work. Unlike the baby boomers who valued job security, the younger workforce has concerns about work-life balance. Unfortunately, work hours have become longer, and the retirement age seems incredibly far away.
Do you feel unsatisfied with your current job or have you lost one? It’s probably time to make a career change. Keep reading to learn more about how to make a career change — the right way.
- Have a reality check
The grass always seems greener on the other side, but this isn’t always the case. Before you put down your tools at your present workplace, you need to be sure you’re making the right move. The last thing you want is for your dream career to turn into a nightmare.
Once you’re certain you want to change your career path, compare your current career to the ideal one. You need to make a comprehensive list of the reasons why you feel you need a new job.
Will the new career solve these problems? Unfortunately, some millennials tend to leave their jobs for flimsy reasons. When writing down your list, you’ll want to be honest with yourself. Remember that a career change can have significant impacts on your social, emotional, and economic life. While at it, you need adequate information about the career you want to pursue. Check out the possible job descriptions. Visualise how your day would look like in the industry.
- Assess your skills
One of the main worries for people seeking to make a career change is whether they possess the necessary skills. Arguably, you might need to master several new skills. If the career change is drastic, the learning curve will be undeniably steep.
With the notable interconnection of careers, it wouldn’t be surprising to realise that you already possess some of the valuable skills required in the new job. In this case, the transition might be fairly smooth. However, you’ll have to consider filling some of the gaps if you find areas that require improvement.
In some cases, you might need to go back to school. Consider whether you’re ready for this commitment. For example, taking a HESI practise test as an aspiring nurse will help you know if your performance will be exemplary in a nursing school.
- List the occupations you desire to explore
The list of occupations in a career is inexhaustible. If, for example, you want to move from accounting to the healthcare sector, you should start examining your options. Self-assessment tools can help you list at least five possible occupations to explore.
Look at each occupation and assess the educational requirements, job description, possible opportunities for advancements, and the compensation packages. Sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.com are a great place to start.
Your research will help you to narrow down the list further. Some occupations might require a degree that you don’t possess. Alternatively, the salary in some of the jobs might be less than you are comfortable with. Now that you are confident of the career path you want to pursue, your moves have to be specific. Note that landing your dream job rarely happens overnight.
- Consider informational interviews
Informational interviews allow you to connect with professionals in your prospective career. With the right networks, you will get insider knowledge on the job you’ve been admiring. This information can further guide you when making this significant change. However, it’s important to note that people have different perspectives based on their own experiences.
For all you know, they might be equally unsatisfied with their jobs, which affects their perception of the career. So, consider asking general questions that might not have a personalised view.
Your questions should focus more on seeking to understand the work environment, personality traits that prompt success, and any surprises that you need to know about. Interviewing more than one professional will help you make a concrete comparison.
- Set realistic goals and make a career plan
At this point, you’re sure about your career change and the occupation you desire is precise. Setting goals will guide your moves. It will help to categorise your goals as short-term or long-term based on the time it will take you to complete them.
If you’re getting into a completely different field, undertaking an associate’s degree might be one of your short-term goals. Getting certified in many fields takes more than two years, which makes it a long-term goal.
The goals you set will allow you to evaluate your career progress. You are 42% more likely to reach your dream and goals if you write them regularly. Indicate the steps you will take to achieve each of the goals and possible barriers that might hinder your progress.
- Make the career change
When you decide to actualise a career change, you need to start by getting the relevant training. Some of the ways that you can get new skills include applying for an internship, taking an online course, or pursuing a certification or degree. Once you have everything in check, it’s time to move. It is essential to resign as per the company’s policy.
The feeling of guilt and anxiety is normal as you prepare to put in your notice. The journey you’re about to undertake is not easy, but it’s worth it. A career change is absolutely necessary when your job feels unfulfilling
Sticking with a career that makes you sick every morning can be devastating. If you’re in such a place, changing jobs is probably the best option. A career change is not a destination per se — it is more of a process. You might face discouragements along the way, especially if you’re starting from scratch. So, celebrate all the milestones so you can remain motivated. With time, your passion and hard work will make you excel in your new career.
By Dale Harris
Christ & Co.