A Guest Post by Noah Rue
Most people change jobs multiple times throughout their lives. Between the ages of 18-24, the average person makes a switch 5.7 times. But, there’s a difference between landing a different job within your field and making a major career change.
Switching gears and careers is a big commitment. It can also be an overwhelming one if you’re not truly ready.
But, if you’re unhappy at work and you think a different career path is calling you, you deserve to look into it. Trust your gut, but consider some things before you make that leap.
Not sure how to get started? Let’s cover a few of those considerations and how you can go about making them priorities.
Should You Go Back to School?
Sometimes, changing your career means getting additional training or education. That’s something to think about before you decide to make a switch. You certainly wouldn’t be alone if you decided to go back to school and start on a different path. In fact, as of 2019, nearly 3 million adults were ready to return to college.
If you want to make a career transition easier on yourself, consider taking a few classes or training programs before you leave your current job. Night classes or online courses make it easy to work around your current career. If you want to further your education and achieve something as prestigious as an MBA, you can enjoy benefits like:
- More networking opportunities
- New challenges
- New interests
- More flexibility with your classes
Going through a training program or online courses while you’re still working will make it easier to decide if you’re truly passionate about a new path and if it’s right for you. It will also allow you to maintain a steady income before you transition into a different industry.
Are You Prepared to Put Yourself Out There?
Whether you need to further your education or not, part of changing careers is stepping out into the job application and interview world again. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need to get a bit more creative with your job search and truly consider your needs. More companies are offering remote work now, so it’s important to decide if that’s the right option for you.
In any case, you’ll still have to go through an application process. You may need to find different ways of networking. And, if a company is interested, they’ll want you to come in for an in-person or video interview.
Whether you’ve been boosting your hard skills or thinking about your soft skills, one thing to keep in mind is staying true to your core values.
Think about why you’re currently unhappy at work. Do you feel like your job is compromising who you are and what you want for yourself? Whether you value more time with family, the ability to be creative, or flexibility in the workplace, you shouldn’t be wasting your time (or anyone else’s) with networking and interviewing for jobs that will leave you feeling stuck again.
So, as you consider putting yourself out there into a different field, make sure you’re willing to stay true to who you are while you do it. It’s the best way to maintain happiness in any workplace.
What Are You Looking For?
The more you start thinking about your values, the more you’ll start realizing what you want. Maybe you don’t just want to change jobs.
Maybe you want to carve your own path.
Starting your own business might seem intimidating. But, depending on the route you go, it’s easier than you may think. The first thing to do is create a plan and business model canvas – a way to organize information about a particular model and how it will work.
If you know you want to start your own business, but aren’t sure which direction you want to go, consider things like:
- Selling stock photography/e-books
- Graphic design
You can take the things you’re passionate about and turn them into viable businesses from the comfort of your own home. As you expand, you can open up your own office space, hire employees, and grow into a successful endeavor that you never would have experienced if you didn’t take the leap and go through a big career change.
So, while there are certainly plenty of things to consider before you change careers, don’t let the “what ifs” hold you back. Keep these considerations in mind. Mull over them until you have answers that make you feel comfortable and excited. Once that happens, you can feel more confident that you’re doing the right thing in making a major change.