The New Year is all about new beginnings, both in your personal and professional life. If you have been in the same job for years, you may find yourself considering a career change in 2017. If this is the case, you have probably been asking yourself a number of important questions. Most importantly, where do I start?
In any case, making the switch to a new field can often be a daunting task. However, if you want to find satisfaction and passion in your employment, here are six things to consider if you’re considering a career change.
1. Do I really want to change careers?
Before you start the search for a new career, you should first ask yourself if a career change is something you are going to 100% commit to. Undergoing a career change in this current climate while not impossible may come as quite a challenge if you are not completely sold. You should ask yourself if it is the entire career you dislike, or potentially just your current job or employer. If you truly enjoy what you do, it may just be your current work environment or corporate culture that is getting you down. However, if it is truly the career that you dislike, then you can start considering a career change and new options for your future.
2. What are my greatest strengths?
When initiating a conversation about a career change, it helps to start by reflecting on your strong points. Ask yourself questions such as, “What am I good at?” and “What are my strengths?” Knowing the answers to these will be very important when determining what direction to take your next step in. This will then transition into considering what it is you want from your new career. Maybe you are looking for more flexibility? Perhaps a job that will offer you the chance to move up the corporate ladder? This is when you should be asking yourself the tough questions.
3. Are my current skills transferable?
Once you have determined the new career or direction, the intimidation may start to set in. Diving head first into a new industry may mean adopting a new set of skills that you don’t already have. By pinpointing your transferable skills, you may find it that much easier to make the switch into a new career. For example, if your current job involves customer service, this is also useful in a variety of different fields, making your job search much easier.
4. Am I willing to put in the hard yards?
If you are making a dramatic shift in careers, not all skills will be transferable. There may be new industry jargon and practices that need to be taught elsewhere. Several industries require certificates, bachelor degrees, TAFE courses and short courses in order to qualify for positions, so this may be a necessary step to undertake in order to progress in your career change. Going back to school may not be for everyone, so it is important to do adequate research into the education expectations your employer will demand.
As well as this, you should probably be prepared to start from the bottom of the ladder again. In most cases, you will need to prove your worth before you move up in the company. So, are you willing to put in the work?
5. What are my long-term prospects?
While the thought of switching to a new career may be exciting, you need to consider the possibility of growth. Find out as much as you can about the current climate in the profession you are aiming for, and whether it is a smart move to enter into it. You should select a career that will allow you to grow as a person, exploring new opportunities that are of interest to you. Without this personal growth, you may become bored and complacent, back in the same predicament you found yourself in initially.
6. Will I be happier in this new career?
Above all, you should be making a career switch because it will make you happier. And while there is no sure way to predict whether you will be happier in another job, if you are doing something you are passionate about, you should definitely give it a go. They say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life – so keep this in mind when you’re selecting the profession for you.
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