3 things to consider before changing career

by RobertKeith

The decision to change careers often seems like a difficult undertaking. Different people have varied reasons to change careers.

Some people seek an increase in compensation while others desire to pursue new challenges as they heed to their innate desire to grow and develop. Whatever the case, it is always advisable to weigh the reasons that motivate one to make a career change. Before making that decision, this article delves into three things that you should consider.

1. Personal Development

Since a career move is not a decision you make in haste, it is always recommended to perform a personal assessment of your strengths, skills, and education. Also, drafting long-term plans and visions to guide you through the decision-making process serves to make the transition easier.


Experts recommend people at career crossroads to conduct a personal Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis to obtain a succinct understanding of what fuels their desire to face each day. Using this analysis, it is possible to zero in on the aims and objectives coaxing the change and to note the pros and cons associated with the process.


Knowing why you are dissatisfied with your current vocation empowers you to enter into a career that alleviates this dissatisfaction. Additionally, it prevents you from merely assuaging the symptoms and instead allows you to address the root causes of the issue. Failure to do this not only increases the risk of hurtling through careers without a clear goal but also causes a high level of dissatisfaction. This risk, however, can be mitigated with proper planning and an honest assessment of your objectives.


Furthermore, a significant part of our lives is spent working. As a result, we place great emphasis on our jobs and careers being able to provide us with happiness and contentment. Occupations should invoke a sense of accomplishment, recognition from our peers, and put our capabilities and intellectual endowments to the test. Without these motivating factors, careers become mundane, subsequently leading to depression and dissatisfaction.


When evaluating new opportunities, it is vital to analyze the likelihood of personal development and the alignment of such openings with your goals. It is not wise, for example, to take a higher paying job in another country if one of your primary resolutions is to spend more time with family. A personal development plan can help you to keep track of your vision and also provide you with the flexibility to make changes that precisely fit with your new career.


Career Change
Career Change

2. Take Inventory of Your Skills and Competencies

The ability to make an accurate evaluation of one's skills and strengths is one of the hallmarks of a productive and successful person. A skills inventory takes into account the education, qualifications, and experiences that you have acquired throughout your career and compares them to the requirements of your prospective job.


The inventory allows you to identify areas where you need additional education or where specific training may fill a gap in your knowledge. Further, a skills inventory provides a powerful self-evaluation tool. Experts recommend considering inventories as an opportunity to appraise your efforts towards self-development, and also to reflect on whether you have achieved your goals.


Further, it is important to ponder on the fact that with time, passions morph and the factors that might have driven you a few years back could hold little value currently. This is especially true for money. A higher salary might have motivated you earlier. However, as you develop and mature as an individual, the money loses its motivational power and grip it has on you, particularly when you begin to self-actualize and understand your sense of purpose. Other aspects such as commute times, job satisfaction, and work environment start being weightier.


It is also crucial to consider that a good career fit for your personality should be an instrumental factor during a career change. Personality traits tend to be impactful on one's capability to handle workplace-related stress, conflict, and responsibility. Subsequently, this determines the level of comfort a person experiences when dealing with tasks assigned to them and ultimately affects performance. A personality mismatch in the workplace is one of the leading causes of low levels of job satisfaction. It might manifest as boredom, indiscipline, or reduced productivity. If left unresolved, then this could lead to clinical depression, health problems, or job loss.


From time to time, you could also find that your experience and education outstrips your current job. When that happens, it becomes paramount to move on. The reverse is also true; your education may become outdated and going back to school might be the only way to secure any further opportunities. Furthermore, furthering your education keeps your resume updated, and thus ensures that you remain relevant in the workplace. Education also helps one garner new abilities to add to your repertoire.

3. Review Your Finances and Financial Incentives of the New Job

Stagnation of one's benefits package is another common cause of frustration. While demands at the workplace and home increase with each passing day such demands are not always accompanied by a commensurate rise in salaries. This stagnation can leave you feeling frustrated, anxious, and unappreciated. Fair compensation is the anchor of the employer-employee relationship and violation of this principle could cause a collapse of the relationship. In evaluating new career opportunities, the benefits package should reflect your objectives and needs.


Even though the salary should never be the most significant reason to change careers, it is nonetheless an essential consideration. Compensation should always be commensurate with your responsibilities and duties. You should seek to negotiate a regular review in your contract to make sure that any adjustments in your duties are reflected in your pay. Another thing to confirm is that your prospective career change comes with insurance cover. Get the details on the cover and the potential new risks that you might be exposed to in your new workplace.


Additionally, to prepare for a temporary loss of income as you transition into a new job, it is essential to assess your finances to check your ability to survive the financial strain. A temporary loss of income after leaving your current employment may last a few weeks, months, or even years while you move to a new job or even as you go back to school to earn a new qualification.


Go over your expenses and remove any unnecessary items months before the proposed change. Prepare a budget for the time you will be unable to earn ensuring that you have money set aside for living expenses as well as for emergencies.


If you are joining an educational program, such as adapt education, set aside a separate budget, carefully planning for fees and expenses. In this case, a summary of your financial expectations from your educational course might be useful to explain to the members of your family.

Evidently, making a career change without involving planning and self-assessment is tantamount to failure. Therefore, you ought to consider the points laid out in this article to guarantee that you make the right decision.

Updated: 08/24/2018, RobertKeith
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/25/2018

RobertKeith, Thank you for the practical information. Do you favor on-campus or online education for career changes?

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