Let’s picture a few scenarios.
You’ve been working for quite a few years under your company, but it feels like the end of the road is still far ahead. Would you try to look for other opportunities?
You’re midway towards a decent promotion in your current job. But as you learn different things, your interests changed. What would you do?
And what if you are employed in a job you’ve always wanted since day one. But somewhere along the way, a bigger opportunity comes knocking at your door. What’s your next move?
Changing your career can be one of the most nerve-racking decisions to make in your life. But they are actually more common than you think, especially among the younger population.
Sure, staying in a single career lane may look like a utopia. You will never need to worry about adjusting to a new workplace environment. You will be able to intensively develop the knowledge and skillsets particularly needed for the job. You will most likely not need to worry about job security and you’re set for life.
But according to a 2019 survey, most people shift careers at least at one point in their lives for several reasons. Here are some of the reasons.
Usually, people change career paths primarily to have a better pay. For others, their current jobs may be too stressful and shifting career lanes can help them achieve a better work-life balance. For some, they may no longer be passionate about their field and want to take on new changes and challenges.
Even with all these motivations, deciding to shift career can still be distressful. But by following these 7 simple steps, changing career can be more than just a thought.
If you are considering a change of career path, reassess your current job satisfaction to help you make decisions and map out your plans.
Keep a record of your satisfactions and dissatisfactions of your current career - whether it’s based on the work you do, your paycheck, the people you work with, or your own motivations.
Weigh them and use your assessments to guide you to your next move.
For example, if you are particularly concerned with your salary, you may want to look for a job with better pay without necessarily straying away from the branches of your field. But if you feel like you have lost your passion in the industry, then consider changing your career path to a field you’ll thrive in.
Changing career paths can imply that you have to make adjustments on your interests and skillsets.
Reexamine your credentials and qualifications.
Assess your current knowledge and skills. Which industry do you think can put your expertise to good use? Will you be able to improve them there? Do you think you’ll be able to expand your skillset even further?
Addressing these questions can help you narrow down your choices, particularly in determining which field to pursue.
Now that you’ve evaluated your preferences and qualifications, it’s time to brainstorm ideas and look for your next job.
Based on your assessments, do a thorough research on potential job matches and career alternatives online through various job sites. Learn as much as you can about these jobs.
Cross-reference your earned credentials and skillsets to job postings. Learn more about the jobs through job descriptions and articles online to get broader perspective.
Go beyond your online research and explore your choices through your connections. Look through your contacts and see if anyone is working in the industry you’re interested in.
Learning about personal and first-hand experiences can give you more useful information than the internet. In broader lens, this can help you gain a better grasp on what you’re about to go through if you chose to pursue the new career.
It’s important to note here that you can extend your networks even in fields that you’re not particularly interested in. Since industries are shifting and changing everyday, don’t limit your connections in a single field.
After setting your interests, preferences, credentials, and qualifications through personal assessments and research, it is time to put them on paper.
Based on the job, structure your resume in a way that it’s specifically designed for the job. This can make your resume more organized and concise.
If you think you need to learn more, you can pursue short-term action plans that can develop your skills and add to your qualifications.
Look for hands-on opportunities like attending seminars, workshops, enrolling in short courses, earning certificates, and joining networking events that can prepare you better for the field.
Make a timeline of the things you want to achieve and track your progress. For example, should you apply immediately for a new job after resigning from the previous one? Should you do it after 6 months and use it as a personal break? Or should you utilize this time to improve your skillsets and expertise instead?
Life-changing decisions such as shifting your career lane are not necessary a dreadful experience if you take them one step at a time. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It is definitely not easy, but the process can help you become a better professional.
Don’t doubt yourself. Changing your career may well be one of the best decisions you make in your career path.