What to consider before changing careers?
The three most important questions to ask yourself before making a career change.
If you have read this guide so far and still want to change career paths, asking yourself the following three questions can help you to better understand what you’re looking for in your new career.
1. What is important to you and what do you want from your new career?
Before making any career changes, work out what is most important to you. Everyone is looking for something different, from earning more money, finding something more challenging, gaining a better work/life balance or possibly having more opportunities to move up the corporate ladder. Whatever your reasons, make sure your new career will be able to fulfil them.
Consider the big picture too; even if money is important to you, you also need to think of the quality of life and job satisfaction you will get from a new role. For instance, although changing careers could lead to a bigger pay packet, other factors like additional working hours or travel time might be stressful and leave you with less time for the things you enjoy.
2. Are you happy to start at the bottom and work your way back up?
When leaving your current career, you will need to take into account that this may mean starting again, potentially at the bottom. Be prepared for this, but also remember that if you’re dedicated and driven, you should be able to work your way back up to the top once you have proven your skills and developed your experience.
3. Are your expectations realistic?
It’s important to make sure your expectations are in line with what your goals are, and what the realities of the industry you are planning on entering are. The more measured and realistic your expectations, the better off you’ll be in this original planning phase. Research is key to setting realistic goals – start a spreadsheet or a file on your desktop and start to gather relevant information.
When changing careers, make sure your plans are achievable. For example, if you’re striving to reach your dream job, it may be unrealistic to expect to get to this position straight away. Don’t be disheartened, it’s often easier to take lots of little steps towards your goal, rather than one large leap.
So plan out some smaller steps that you will need to take in order to reach your goals in the long-term.