It seems as if today everyone is talking career change, but is it right for you? There are a number of things to consider before changing careers, questions to ask yourself, here are just a few of them –
What are my strengths?
Your current job may no longer be challenging you, or you just no longer enjoy it. To find a career path that you might enjoy, look at your areas of strengths and enjoyment. Do you love writing press releases, but hate talking on the phone? Are you comfortable giving speeches, but hate making sales? It is important to categorize what you like, and what you don’t like, about your job so that you can make a more informed decision about changing career paths.
Also, consider strengths outside of your work. What do you like to do? Is there something there that might lead you to a new career? For example, if you are excellent at organizing, repairing, or even baking, you might see if one of these strengths could lead you to a new position.
What educational or training barriers might there be? How easy would those be to overcome?
For many of us, a new job means more training. Just because you love dogs doesn’t mean you can leave your sales job to be a veterinarian. However, if you are in sales, there may be a dog food manufacturer who is in need of a sales rep, and your love of dogs and your sales background would make you perfect for the position.
But if the new job requires more school, or additional training, do you have the time to complete it? And can you afford it? Sometimes a new employer will pay for the training, or they might offer some type of reimbursement. Check with the prospective employer before giving up because you feel you cannot afford it. Additionally, sometimes they will hire you and then put you through the training, so you are paid while garnering those new skills.
What impact will this change have on your lifestyle and loved ones?
It is very important that you sit down and really think about the practical impacts of changing career paths. Think about what it might mean to your family and your well-being. Will it make you a happier person? Could it bring in more money, or less? Often when you change careers you face starting over, at the bottom, which usually means a pay cut. Can you, and your family, handle a decrease in salary for now?
What are the long-term prospects for this new career?
And finally, make sure that the new career you are interested in is a growing field. If you are, for example, interested in teaching, but note that your area has recently cut hundreds of teaching jobs, it might not be the right time, or place, for you to pursue this career. So do your research. See if anyone near you is hiring, and make sure the outlook for that new career is a positive one. Careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields are growing right now, and the jobs outlook is positive. Make sure that there will be positions for you, in whatever field you choose, when you are ready to make the change!