Are you thinking about a change in your career? Or have been stuck in a job that isn’t for you? Well, there are many different reasons why people want to change careers. Of course, it's a personal decision with many factors involved. Some common reasons are: better pay, current job is toxic, better work-life balance, you’ve reached your limits and are unable to progress in your current role, you want to explore new challenges, etc.
No matter the reason you’re unsatisfied with your current career - despite what you may think, it’s totally possible to switch paths no matter how many years you've already been in the workforce. With some savvy strategizing and expectation management, you can have that dream job.
Things You Should Consider in a Career Change
In going ahead with such a decision, it's likely that you'll have to make sacrifices. For instance, you may incur extra costs from relocating or changing your commute - you may even need to take a pay cut to move companies or sectors.
A new career is also likely to bring with it a new routine, which may affect your work/life balance, particularly if you're entering a career that requires you to study for a qualification before or alongside work. What's more, you'll be entering an unfamiliar working environment, and will have to build new relationships and a good professional reputation from scratch. It's therefore crucial to have a good support network around you.
When You Should Consider a Career Change
Every once in a while, you can feel uninterested or unmotivated about work. Many times, that feeling can indicate that you need to take a break from work and unwind. But if this feeling persists over an extended period, you may need to look deeper and evaluate if this is the job you want to do for the rest of your life.
Here are a few clear signs that point toward an impending career change.
- You’re no longer learning or growing - Employees who have stopped growing typically become dissatisfied with their careers and often feel as though they’re simply going through the motions without any motivation to do more than just coast.
- You experience eternal boredom - Boredom at work can make even small tasks seem tedious and leave you with depleted energy levels at the end of a workday. When the feeling of dread about your work starts spilling into other areas of your life, it is a surefire sign that you need to change your job.
- You feel mentally and physically exhausted or stressed - Employees should strongly consider a career change if their job begins impacting their mental and physical well-being. Career dissatisfaction often manifests as mental and physical exhaustion, and sign of burnout should be taken seriously or may result in psychological issues.
- You don’t see a future in your current career - If you are not excited about leveling up in your current job, consider whether you’re even on the right career path. You may be taking every day as it comes, and you don’t think about where you want your career to go over the next few years.
- You’ve become disconnected from your passions - You feel disconnected from the original reason you started out in your career. Perhaps the creativity that originally enticed you is no longer a part of your job and you spend more time managing accounts or sitting in meetings than creating anything of substance.
- You’re jealous of other people’s career - Jealousy can also lead to resentment, which may decrease the overall quality of the employee’s work, damaging their self-confidence and reputation within the company. Rather than dismissing jealousy as a bad thing, try to analyze deeply why you feel that way.
- You long for a different career path - If you find yourself frequently thinking about other paths you could have taken or roles you want to fill, you may desire a different career. This feeling can discourage you from turning in your best work and manifest as distraction, restlessness and even anger.
Finding a New Career
If you've got your heart set on changing careers, the first thing you'll need to do is research and come up with a plan of action.
- First, evaluate your current job satisfaction
- Assess your interest, value and skills
- Check out job options or get help from career advisors
- Expand your network and start making connections
- Upgrade your skill set
- Consider a new job in the same industry
- Manage your expectations
Once you know the path you'd like to pursue, you can start seeking opportunities. Update your professional profiles to clearly state your intention to change industries, and give details of the skills and experience you have that will be well-suited.
Don't forget to update your resume and cover letter to reflect these changes. If you need assistance with updating your resume or customizing a new cover letter, we've got you covered with our free product - go to earnbetter.com to get started!