Taking the decision to change one’s career is never easy. Apart from your co-workers thinking you’re crazy, headhunters claiming you’ll never get work, and family and friends contributing with the ‘told you so’ route, you reach a crossroads at which you must choose between staying in your current field and moving on to ‘better prospects’. I must admit that it is risky with many possible outcomes and consequences. But if you are truly bored, lost, fed-up or otherwise unhappy in your current job or field of work, making a career switch could make things easier. In fact, the only question you need to ask yourself before deciding to switch your career is – “Do I have skills that I can’t use at this job?” once you get the answer in the affirmative, go and make the jump! But even as you do so, here are some things you must keep in mind.
Also read: Tips to choose the right career
Don’t take up a job in another field without some thinking and lots of research. Nothing is worse than leaping before you look. You don’t want to end up in a field that makes you feel exactly what you did in your last. Find your perfect fit.
Don’t choose a career just because it’s ‘trending’ or your friends are doing it. You can’t expect to squeeze into your friend’s skinny jeans. They may be doing well in it but you might not. Take time to consider your options. Get enough information about the field and choose it only if you think it’s a good match for your skills and interest.
Money should not be the deciding factor. Although an important factor, you should never work just for the amount of money a particular job or career offers. All the money in the world wouldn’t make you happy if you’re not doing what you really love and are good at.
Also read: Career buzz: Survival of the fittest
Consider further education in the field of your new choice of career. You’re never too old to learn. An internship, a short certificate course… do what you can to gain some knowledge to bridge the gap between your old career and the new field.
Network and socialize with people who work in the same field that you want to shift to. Get helpful insights from professionals and ask them to suggest appropriate steps that you need to take in order to make a successful career change.
Examine all possibilities, but most of all self-assess to find out if you have what it takes for the new career. Make a list of skills, interests, values, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses and compare the same with the required skills for the new career.
Last but not the least, be patient. You can’t expect to change careers overnight just as you can’t expect to be successful in one day. A thorough career change usually will take a minimum of six months to pull off, and the time can also stretch up to a year or more.
Also read: 6 Career Mistakes That You Make In Your 20s
Remember, making a career switch is one of the most refreshing things you can do and it makes you feel like you are experiencing youth all over again, except with the wisdom of whatever you know by now! J