A young adult or professional may contemplate how to switch careers many times in life. Changes can be made in the educational phase or at times it’s just a personal choice within fields. There are even times one may choose to make a decision long after the start of one’s career necessitated by situational or economical factors. Statistically speaking, the average adult will change jobs at least ten times during their lifetime, so it is very safe to assume several of those jobs will also be a change in career. Common sense, planning, and self-awareness can help expedite the process and avoid major catastrophes.
One should first evaluate key factors in the career change. The first factor is deciding what one wants to do. Making a list of desired outcomes in one’s new career and reaching out to professionals in the field can help with this, as well as researching the prospective market. It is important to educate oneself on average salary, educational requirements, growth potential, and job openings in the area and be aware of other factors like office hours and travel requirements. In some cases, a lateral move within one’s current career field might be more rewarding than a complete shift in industries. However, job seekers often find the time spent researching fosters negativity toward one’s current employment. Remaining in a career after the need for change has been identified is a leading cause of workplace dissatisfaction and poor performance. One’s decisions regarding career paths and options should be predicated on one’s attitude toward their current and projected career paths and objectives. Self-doubt can cause stress and anxiety while attempting a career change. Fear of the unknown is a healthy emotion that has been used for millions of years to preserve the human species. This is normal and a successful careerist will formulate ways to combat it. Recognizing what skills are transferable into a new career and what other achievements will benefit one can save time and stress. Analyzing one’s motives for change honestly can also prove beneficial by providing otherwise unclear or largely ignored insights. One should recognize oneself as the product and be confident in what one has to offer.
At this point one should have a clear picture of the new career, how it differs from the current career path, and if any additional training or experience is needed. One should always set a time table for educational requirements or goals for applications and resumes being sent out. Drafting a new resume will help highlight desirable attributes in one’s new career. Having tangible, attainable goals will increase the likelihood of success and avoid sidelining one’s goals. One should maintain accountability as well, by volunteering to keep one’s skill set sharp and networking within the field of interest to keep abreast of new opportunities. The careerist should also regularly contact recruiters working in one’s field(s) of endeavor. These steps will prevent undue stress and increase the likelihood of success in switching careers effectively.