Making a Career Change
There are many reasons for someone to change careers. I am talking about getting into a different field of work, not getting a different job, even though the line between the two may be blurry. The reason may be burn-out in the current job or the limitations of earning potential in a current job or developing a new interest. Statistics on how often this happens on average are hard to come by but many of us know people who have made a turn-around and are working now in a very different job than they did right after getting out of college or just a decade ago. Making the transition is a major challenge. Sometimes it means going back to school, at other times it comes with a temporary financial hit because we need to start at the bottom again or at a lower rank than the position we were in before. Here are a few things to think about when considering a career change.
Evaluate your motivations. What are the reasons for wanting the career change? If it’s burn-out in the current job, you may be able to resolve your dissatisfaction by finding another employer rather than finding a whole new career. However, if you are disillusioned with your career choice or you have developed a new interest that you want to turn into a career, then it is worth getting serious about a change. Another good reason to make a radical change is if you have a lot of financial obligations but you cannot foresee ever moving into a position in your current career that would allow you to fulfill those obligations. In each of these cases, you should start investigating your options. It pays to do your homework so that you are not disappointed when you have given up what you have but the new career is not exactly what you had imagined it to be. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
If you are convinced and excited about making the change, be prepared to make a temporary financial sacrifice because you may have to go back to school. You may be able to get a job without doing that or even start your own business, but in both cases you will most likely make less money in the beginning than you did at the old job. If this involves going back to school it can take a couple of years or more to reach your goal. You will also possibly work a bit harder in the first few years than you have ever done before to gather experience and move up the career ladder. Most importantly, you need to be determined and never look back. If doubts or regrets start settling in, keep reminding yourself of all the reasons why you engaged in this new career in the first place. Look at your possibilities and your personal potential. In the end it will all have been well worth it!