Our careers are so much more than simply a way to earn money. They define us, they’re essentially why we spend the whole of our young lives studying and working hard. To get to where we want to be in our jobs. However many people can reach a point where their career simply no longer fits them. When the years go by our interests and personalities can change. Maybe you dream of doing something more suited to you, or want to re-ignite your passion for work. If a career change is on the cards, here are a few things you’ll need to consider.
Do You Really Want To Change Career
Instead of just jumping in, it's worth sitting down and actually thinking about it. Does your career seem stale because you've got yourself into a rut? Is it because you dislike the company, your colleagues or boss? Could you work up and get a promotion, or even transfer to a different company? If you've spent a long time working up in your career, you don't just want to throw it away at the drop of a hat. See if it can be salvaged first, that way if you do change careers later down the line you can do so with no regrets. You'll know you tried everything.
Improve Your Skills and Education
If you're taking a completely new career path, before quitting your old job, it could be worth improving your skills or education. You could take evening or weekend classes or do some voluntary work in the field you're interested in. Not only will this help you decide if it's what you really want, but it will mean breaking into that career is easier too. A drastic change of career will probably mean starting from the bottom, but having some background understanding or experience can help you move through the ranks more quickly.
Decide on a New Career Path
Have you got in mind an area that you want to work in? You could look into more info about healthcare positions, finance, law or IT roles depending on what it is you’re after. If it’s not entirely clear in your mind what you want to do, think broadly at first and then narrow it down. For example maybe you’ve always wanted to work with kids and have a passion for music? A music teacher or tutor could be your ideal role. Perhaps you aspire to help others, working as a carer or social worker may be for you. Perhaps you have an interest in a certain area but aren’t sure where it could lead. Do some research, have an idea of what kind of career options are out there which suit you.
You Could Be Your Own Boss Instead
Switching to a new career is one thing, but have you considered becoming your own boss? Setting up your own company gives you freedom and the potential to earn a lot of money if you have a good idea. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet, more people than ever are able to successfully set up companies or work from home. Again, before quitting your job get the plans in place and get the company off the ground in your spare time. That way you know it's going to work before giving up your salary. You could sell items or services from online or your own shop, or even get into flipping properties for a profit. To keep a constant stream of income, monetising a blog or website or working as a freelancer can bring in some money plus it's flexible and free to set up. Having a couple of different flexible earning options as well as a main passionate interest gives you security and can help make the leap from employee to business owner. Having some money saved as a buffer is useful too, you need to know you can pay your bills if things go through rough patches or get off to a slow start.
Making a Career Change Later in Life
There's no doubt that stepping out of the realms of the unknown takes a lot of courage. When you've been in a particular career your whole adult life and are used to a certain salary, you might question whether giving that up is the right thing. However, it might well be the best move you ever make. If you're at a dead end in your role, or if you're unhappy then this could be a chance to start fresh. You can set new goals, chase current passions rather than continue with a career you picked out for yourself in your late teens. There plenty of reasons why people choose to make the switch later in life and the good thing is, it’s completely possible to do so. When changing careers, you will more than likely move to a well-paid position to a much lower paid one since you will be starting from the beginning. However if it’s for a career you’re passionate about, you will probably be fine with taking a cut in money. But have a think about the financial aspect and make sure it will work for you. Will you still be able to afford to pay everything you need to pay? The good thing is, changing careers later in life means you will probably move up the ladder more quickly than you did the first time round. Years of work experience in any job role all counts for something, even if it’s not directly linked to the new role a lot of your skills may be transferable.
It's true what they say, money can’t buy happiness. If your current job is making you unhappy or affecting your mental health then why not consider a switch. If you work a job you're passionate about, money will be just a bonus rather than the driving force.
Are you considering a change of career? What made you decide to take the leap?
This is a contributed post.