Things to know before changing your career
Making career choices is a risky game; it does not end well all the time. While making such a decision, it is necessary to consult a career counselor about it if you are not sure. It is better to talk with someone and take some time to think than regret the hasty decision later on.
Sometimes, if you are lucky and careful, you land up in a job that fits perfectly well with what you want and thought the job or career would be, but there are unfortunate times when you are not satisfied with the career you have chosen or the job you are currently working.
It is not very late to change your career path, but there are some things that you need to consider while making that decision. Career change is not easy, and it will take a lot of time to develop a new skill or take another course or even decide what you want to do. During this challenging time, talking with people you trust or getting a career counselor will help you decide what to do next. Avoid making another hasty decision, it will only land you in the same situation after working for a while, and you do not want that.
One of the reasons people make mistakes on career choices is that they only look at the salary or the status of having such a job or pressure from their parents. That might pay your bills but will not keep you happy for long. You need to find the right and healthy balance between your happiness and salary.
You will first need to decide if you want a new job or a new career because while finding a new job can take some time and won’t be easy, changing your career path will take a lot more time and effort. For that to be clear, you need to evaluate your source of dissatisfaction. Sometimes what you might need is a change of job and not a career. If you still like doing similar kinds of work, but the environment is not very preferable for you, consider taking up a new job and seeing if it solves any of the problems you faced in your previous workplace.
You might need a new job if you dislike the people you work for, but you still enjoy your work. Maybe your boss doesn’t understand you or doesn’t give you enough freedom to handle your job, or perhaps you don’t have a good relationship with your co-workers or your clients.
Maybe the environment is not healthy for you, or you don’t see any personal growth in your professional life, and you are frustrated. Such problems could be a sign to change your job, not necessarily your whole career. You might enjoy your work but not the people you work with. It is totally fine and normal since everyone has their differences, but if you can’t work such differences, look for a company with similar values and works ethics.
Sometimes it could be about the things you are dealing with at your current workplace that might not interest you. For example, you may like teaching but do not enjoy teaching young kids; there are possibilities that you will enjoy teaching older ones. Look from a new perspective and try to work it out.
If you change the job and still feel dissatisfied with what you are doing, you can look for a different career path. Invest some time on things that you might be interested in, look at the skills you have, and see other career paths you can choose with your current skills. You will have to evaluate yourself, make a list of things you might want to do as a career. You can also take help or counsel a career counselor about your plans and interests. If you have time and are financially stable, you can work as an intern for a short period to get the hang of the job. Doing an internship will help you decide because it will give you an idea of a real-life experience of the average day’s job that will require no long-term commitment.
Look for skills that you always wanted to learn but never got a chance. Don’t be in a hurry; take time to plan it out, and list all your ideas. The very last thing you want is to make another mistake and end up being disappointed. Remember that changing your career path is harder than it seems, you will need to start from scratch and make new connections, but if you put your heart into it, it is impossible.
While leaving your current job either for a new job or a career path, leave the company on good terms. You might be leaving because you didn’t like your boss or your co-workers but always be professional. Showing your anger before leaving will ruin your reputation. Trying to damage the company’s property or stealing is not acceptable. They are illegal, and you will get into serious problems. It is best to keep your emotions with yourself and walk out of a job with no bitter feeling. Before leaving, don’t forget to ask for a reference. Since you will be hunting for a job, you will need it.
If it is possible, try to get a new job before resigning from the older one. Job hunting will be very hard and there is no guarantee if you will get within a certain amount of time. Having financial security is essential. Leaving your current job will not be as devastating because you will not have to worry about the next step. But if you plan to change your whole career, wait until you save up enough money to look after yourself. If you have a skill you need to polish or a course you need to take, have financial stability before resigning from your current job.
Changing a career does not happen overnight. It needs a lot of planning and self-assessment. It is not impossible because many have done the same, but it is not easy either. They were unsatisfied with their work and changed to something that they always wanted to do. But it does come with difficulty. One of the most important things between this shift is your financial stability. You can never guarantee when you will get the job you want, what type of courses you will need to take, and work experience you will need.
If you have someone who has gone through such things, consider having a conversation about it. Address all your concerns and queries if you have any so that you will be well prepared when you make a choice this time. If you know no one and are confused, talk to a career counselor. A well-read and well aware counselor will take you through all the steps, what course you will need to take, and what skills you need to polish. Having another person you trust while making the decision will not only clear your mind, but you may get valuable advice.