Have you ever wondered what it would be like to swap the office for a studio, leave your desk to be a dog walker, or teach people how to do yoga? Well, you are not alone. If you have ever contemplated a career switch, according to research, 80 percent of people in their 20’s and 64 percent of people in their 30’s want to change their career path.
It doesn’t matter why you are not in love with your job anymore, the fact is there is no steadfast rule that says you have to stay in the same job forever so why not look for a change. Despite what people think about changing jobs, it is completely possible to change paths no matter how long you have been in a job.
You need to spend a lot of time researching what you would like to do and make sure that you are consistent in your approach to what you want to do. If you keep chopping and changing ideas without relevant research, then you may find yourself changing for the wrong job.
Why the Change
An average worker changes their job up to 10 times before they reach the age of 50 according to research, but why? There are a number of reasons, such as needing a new challenge or your values and focuses have changed.
Even if you are happy in your job, content with the company and enjoy spending time with your work colleagues, it’s possible that if you have been there for a few years, then it has all just become a bit too routine and ‘same old.’
You may be the type of person that like to push themselves and try new things once in a while, and your job is no exception. A career change might just be what you need to push yourself and try new things.
Sometimes we need to try and venture away from the comfortable parts of our lives so we can see if its change we need, or if in fact once we move away from what we know, that what we were doing wasn’t actually that bad after all! But it’s this change that may help us feel satisfied and accomplished in our job roles. Starting over again in a new job might just be the kick you need to acquire new skills and knowledge and push yourself.
Although you know you need to make the change, an interesting question is why now? Consider what it is that’s actually driving your decision to change your career such as is it your boss that you don’t get on with or is it the commute that affects you. By asking yourself these kind of questions means you can determine why you want to transform your career, which will then lead you into how you can do it.
You may have done the same job for years but previous to that, had the same job but it was in a more dynamic setting that suited you more, and the change to this job may have made you lose the professional drive. If this is the case, you don’t necessarily need to switch careers, instead, look to find the same job in a setting that suits you better.
As with any part of your life where you spend a lot of time doing something, sometimes things change, and you just grow in different directions, and a job is no different. You may have once been very passionate about your employer and their ethos, but this now may no longer be the case.
It’s not strange to think that something you decided to do at 18, may not now be the thing that pushes you on in your 40’s so it’s only natural to consider a move. As your values change in your life, so do you so maybe working in an office when you would rather be exploring the outdoors can lead you to a change in your job.
Or, maybe it’s about the financial security as when you were younger, money may not have played a big part in deciding what direction you would like your career to go, yet now you are older with more responsibilities, it’s understandable that you would want to obtain a better way of life financially through your career.
The Focus Has Changed
As mentioned before, starting a job when you were a different person with different responsibilities means that now your priorities may have changed so subsequently your focus changes too. Sometimes your job doesn’t allow you the flexibility to spend more time on other aspects of your life, for example spending more time with your family or dedicating time to a hobby.
If this is the case, then perhaps you need to research into jobs that fit your morals and your focus and change for a job that allows you to work flexibly or for yourself. Flexible working across many countries have come about because so many people can’t dedicate set hours to working anymore as family time has become even more important in the current day.
You’re Just Not Happy
If something is amiss in your life, then one of the first places you need to look at is your job. Job satisfaction is one of the most important predicators over overall life satisfaction according to research, so it’s no surprise the effect being unhappy in your job has on you.
As you spend so much time at work and in work, then your work life is inevitably going to go into your personal life and make you unhappy so changing your career path may give you something to focus your energy on.
There are a number of things in your job that could be making you unhappy, such as the work hours, the pressure, your co-workers or the actual job itself, so if your work environment is making you miserable, then it’s time for a change.
How to Make That Change
It’s easier said than done deciding to change your career path and there are a few considerations you need to have when deciding how you are going to change your job. Working out the easiest route for you is the first consideration, making those connections to getting a new job and gaining the experience needed are a few factors you need to take into account to make that change.
The Easiest Way
Probably the best path to take when thinking about transforming your career is the easiest path and one that you probably already know. Look for points of connection from your existing career to a career you want to change to. So for example, if you are already a nursery nurse and you want to change your career to a neonatal nurse practitioner, this would be more of a smooth transition than if you wanted to change it to something completely abstract and not connected to anything you’ve done before.
If you are not sure about attending a university due to commitments and costs, then looking to do a course online would be ideal as you could study when you want, where you want.
If you change your discipline and your industry at the same time, it doesn’t mean you are setting yourself up for a fall, it just means there are many more challenges that you need to overcome to get to that goal, so why not make it easier on yourself.
It also means that if you are trying to change to something more relevant to your current career, hiring managers may understand more and give you that chance you need to try that new path.
The same for a university place in that if you are trying to secure a university place on a very oversubscribed course, then being in a similar field will likely help you get that valuable place as they can see that you are already passionate about that field and you are willing to further your career and work hard at their university.
Make That Connection
Networking really is the key to changing your career as it is so important. If you have been in a job for 10 years for example, then the people you have worked with, the mentors, and acquaintances will be able to vouch for you on a professional level, whereas if you try something new, the same people on your new role may not have the insight or authority to be much help.
If you want to learn about a new field then attending conferences, courses and training sessions on that subject not just helps you learn more about that field, but you also get to make valuable connections.
If you keep doing this as often as you can, then eventually you are going to find people who can be mentors and who want to stay in touch. This person can then potentially be your point of contact between you and the new industry you would like to be part of.
There always a Catch 22 when you are looking for a new job in that you can’t get a job without the experience, yet you can’t get the experience you need without a job! So the next best way to get experience is through volunteering.
Many nonprofit businesses and in desperate need of help which is lucky for you if they are in one of the fields you are interested in becoming part of as it’s the perfect way for you to test the area and see if you would want to do it full time.
Offering your services for free initially is also a great way of getting your name heard as if you can then get those people to give you a testimonial you can hopefully get a second client, but a paying one. This then means you are a paid professional of that field, and you can add it to your resume and website to help promote further work!
If you are happy with the senior title you have currently in your role, then perhaps looking to change jobs isn’t the right thing for you in your life right now as it is very unlikely that you are going to walk into a new job at a senior level.
Consider whether a salary cut is going to make you proud in 5 years time, for example, if you haven’t achieved what you wanted to and made yourself proud. If you think that it wouldn’t make you happy, then this is a realistic answer to maybe not changing anything in your career right now.
Give it Time
The problem with wanting to change your career, is that you may have worked so hard to get where you are currently in your job, that when you do make that decision to change, you want it right away. But this isn’t realistic as nobody lands a dream job overnight.
It can take up to a year to even start a new job, which means possibly a year with no salary. Then you have to consider the financial investment you may have to make dependent on what you are choosing to do. If you decide to go into a franchise opportunity, then you will have start-up fees and marketing fees you will need to take on, or if you consider another path you may have conference fees, networking event costs and other job hunting expenses which can all add up.
Allowing yourself time to accept that you have all these fees means that you can reduce some of the pressure on yourself to get into your new role. Also, if you can avoid it, try not to leave your current job as what’s another year whilst you save up for the above-mentioned fees if you’ve already been there for many years!
Transforming your career into your dream role can be very daunting and scary, but if you don’t rush into anything, then you are giving yourself the best chance to succeed. By planning ahead and really researching your options, this enables you to make a foolproof plan and devise a contingency plan if it doesn’t work straight away.