Changing careers can be a stressful and challenging period for people. Everyone at some point will have pondered it, given the average person is said to have 5 to 7 careers in their lifetime. Making the leap without proper consideration can lead to catastrophic consequences for your lifestyle, wallet and those that may depend on you. Here is a list of the top 5 things you should consider before making that transition.
With many industries rapidly changing, it is tempting to jump into a new field, based on what you hear through the grapevine or the latest news article. Taking the time to understand why you want to change careers though is an important first step before making any drastic decisions. If for example, you do not like your work environment or industry, will things necessarily be any different if you change to a new one? What skills and attributes do you need to perform well in a new career? Will you be satisfied once you change? Are you actually looking for a change in jobs, rather than that of an entire career?
Assess Your Current Situation
Like it or not, work plays a big role in most people’s lives. If you are just starting out on a career path and unattached, then making changes here and there will not have a major impact on you. If you are however more established in a career path and have developed a reputation in a field, then a change needs to be thought out much more carefully. After all, you may also be a parent, a spouse and a contributor to a range of other interests. While a new career you are considering will not necessarily change that, it may require you to adjust the priorities you place on each of the other roles you play in your daily life.
Look at the data
There is plenty of information available online about different careers, roles, companies and industries. Pick an ideal role you are aspiring to and do the research on what it entails over the course of a few months. This may include things like signing up to job alerts so you get up to date and realistic information on the requirements. Make sure you also spend time reading company reviews to better understand the views of people working in the industry. Looking up people’s profiles that match your ideal role also helps. Don’t forget to check out who they report to as well. Finally, make sure you are realistic in terms of pay. Especially, if you need to start from the bottom in a totally different area.
Connect with others
Make sure you leverage as many contacts as you can. This mayinclude
- Networking at industry target events and conferences to learn everything you can
- Conducting information interviews with people that work in your target industry, so you find out what it's really like at a day to day level
- Connecting with people that you know, already working in the field you are interested in
Once you have accumulated enough information, objectively match your skills, desires and life situation, to realistically assess whether it is a good match. Decide how much work it will take to attain the role you are aspiring to and set yourself some short, medium and long term goals to get there.
At Endorse Sheet, we understand a career change is something everyone will at some point consider. That’s why we’ve created a tool to help match up your needs and values to potential roles. The tool works by
- Determining what your priorities are in a new career
- Assessing how that translates to your personal values
- Providing you with a list of matching occupations, against the level of preparation you will need to enter it