Table of Contents
Reasons You May Be Thinking about Switching Careers 6
Signs It Is Time to Change Your Career 12
Don’t Make These 11 Common Career Changing Mistakes 17
The 7 Step Method to Successful Career Change 24
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Career change is not always about money or benefits. Sometimes people are doing just fine financially, but they feel they are just a cog in the wheels of a great business machine. Studies show that when employees are appreciated, frequently recognized for what they do, they will work for less money. This shows how important it is for some people to feel like they are making a difference at work, and that somebody has noticed.
If this is how you feel, talk to your boss and your coworkers. Have a sit-down with your human resources representative. If you otherwise enjoy what you are doing now, and the future looks bright, it would be a shame to leave that position unnecessarily.
Some bosses and managers just aren’t the “thanks for your effort” types. Their management style is different. If you simply let your boss know you need to feel like you are appreciated at what you do, you may find that staying right where you are is the smartest move.
The Money Isn’t Right for Me Right Now
This really should have been listed first. Commonly, the number one reason people give for wanting to change jobs or tackle a new career opportunity concerns money. They don’t feel like they are making enough money right now.
This is a valid concern. While money isn’t everything, it is required to put a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back and to provide your family with financial security.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with considering changing careers if you are under-appreciated financially. Some people could care less about getting a thank you and a pat on the back for their efforts. They just want to receive fair compensation, and that is certainly their right. If this is your concern, take a look at the financial opportunity down the road with your current company.
It may be that you are just around the corner from a significant promotion. If you like your job otherwise, maybe there are some areas where you could cut back on your spending and realize more savings without getting a raise. If you don’t feel you are being paid enough, talk to those who have control over this aspect of your employment. Be sure to consider every other aspect of your career, not just finances. This will give you more information about whether or not you should seek some new career path.
The Money Won’t Be Right in the Future
Maybe you are making plenty of money for your current situation. However, you are concerned that your job, responsibility, and the industry you are in dictate very little financial growth in the future. This is a valid concern. If you are looking down the road 5, 10, and 20 years to see where your current career will take you, you are planning more than the average bear.
Just keep in mind that the future is never guaranteed.
There have been plenty of people who were promised large amounts of money in the future in the form of pay raises and stock options, that went into work the following day and found out their company was bankrupt. You are to be commended for thinking about your future because not everyone does. Just realize that a bird in the hand will always be worth two in the bush, and your current paycheck will always be more real than a future possibility.
Not Enough Free Time
You work for a reason. You have your own a very specific set of reasons for doing your current job. You get paid in return for what you do, and then you use that money for certain things that are important to you. One reason many people work their current jobs is for their family.
They work to bring home the bacon for their spouse and children, and their current employment allows them to do that very well. However, a lot of people fight for that balance between occupation and family. It’s great if you are making tons of money and providing for your family’s present, and future. That is great. A lot of people do not have that reality in their lives these days.
However, if you don’t get to spend any time with your significant other, your children, or your friends, then what are you working for? After money concerns, one of the most common reasons given for considering changing an occupation is not enough time away from work.
No one is guaranteed another hour or another day. If you are simply working too much, and you don’t spend enough time with the ones you love, maybe it’s time for a change.
You Want a Job That “Means Something”
This happens a lot to career professionals in their 40s and 50s. They may be excellent employees, but they just don’t feel like they are contributing to the greater good of humanity. Everybody wants to make a difference in some way. When you have been at a job for a significant period, you may look around ask yourself, “Does what I’m doing really matter?”
Working for mega-corporations sometimes makes it tough to feel like you are making a significant change in the world. If you work for a charity organization, you probably are very proud of yourself for attempting to make the world a better place. However, if you are in a privately held or publicly owned company that works on a forprofit basis, you may feel like a career change to a more worthwhile, socially responsible company is in order.
You Are Looking for a Stepping Stone
Not every career change is made so that your new stop is the last one you ever make. You may be thinking about changing gears because you want to get from point A to point C, and B is the only way to do that. Changing careers may take several steps. You may not be able to leave your current job and wind up at your dream occupation right away.
This is why you may need to make several changes in between where you are now and where you want to be eventually. This is a common reason for considering a job switch.
You Hate Your Boss
Some bosses are amazing, wonderful, appreciative and a pure joy to work for. They are also very rare. There is probably something you don’t like about your boss or manager right now. There could be many things that make you despise that individual. If he or she is good at running the business and your problem is on a personal level, maybe you should reconsider your feelings if you have a really great job and career.
On the other hand, if you are working for Attila the Hun or Ebenezer Scrooge, you probably just need to get out. If your human rights are being violated, talk to your human resources representative. Just because you hate your boss doesn’t mean you have to go. If your superior is acting inappropriately in the workplace, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice a job you otherwise love, one that rewards you well financially and mentally.
However, if you work in a job where your boss is also the owner, or there is some other reason why you can’t go to someone and complain, you may want to consider moving on down the road.
You Want to Own Your Own Company
The 20th and 21st centuries have seen incredible entrepreneurs make their marks in the world. Maybe you dream of becoming the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah Winfrey, owning your own multi-billion-dollar business. This is a common dream among hourly employees, people who hate their jobs, and even those who are pretty happy with their current career paths.
Be very careful when you take the plunge to become your own boss. A lot of people start their own businesses, only to find they are a slave to their dream. They end up working 90 and 100 hours a week, they never see their family, and in a lot of cases, the business fails. Make sure you do lots of research and know exactly what you are getting into if you quit your current career to become an entrepreneur.
It is a good idea to have 3 to 5 years of living expenses in the bank before you take the entrepreneurial plunge and start your own business.
Just because you want to bail from your current gig doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Our feelings are not always aligned with what is best for us. You have to couple desire with opportunity, so if you make the switch, you don’t end up running back to your former employer with your hat in your hand. Let’s take a look at some common signs that you would be well-served to jump ship to a new occupation.
Signs It Is Time to Change Your Career
I f you have invested any significant time and energy in your current career, it can be tough to make the leap to something new. Even if everything points to a career change being the smartest move for you, it is only natural to get cold feet. If you hate what you do, the company you work for just declared bankruptcy, and your career is being phased out by technology, it is easy to understand that it is time to do something different.
However, sometimes you may consider leaving a job you love for a different type of occupation because of massive benefits or financial incentives. Maybe a career change you are considering offers relatively the same situation you are in now, and there are only minor differences to take into account. That’s when you may need some help deciding upon the right course of action.
Listed below are some signs that indicate a career change is probably best. These are conditions common to many industries and jobs, and could very well signal that it is time for you to start upon a new career path.
Your Life Is Different Now Than When You Started Your Job
Do you still have the same viewpoints, ideas, behaviors, and characteristics as when you were 15 years of age? You probably don’t! You may be very similar in a lot of ways to the person you were years ago, but you are dramatically different as well. The same is true regarding your career.
When you joined a company in your teens or 20’s, you were just happy to have a job. Fast-forward 20 or 30 years, and your life today is probably dramatically different than it was when you entered the working world. Perhaps you were single then, and you are married now. Maybe you only had to finance a onebedroom apartment, one-vehicle lifestyle then, but you are now the primary breadwinner for a family of 5 with a large mortgage and several vehicles.
All of the sudden, you are looking to the future, and thinking about slowing down and having less responsibility. Maybe you are not as concerned about making money and spending all day at work. For whatever reasons, you are not the same person now as when you started the career you are in. Sometimes familiarity can be stifling. Perhaps it is time for you to take a look at your life now, see how dramatically it has changed, and then see if your career has changed with you.Other Details
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