Making a career change can be both daunting and exciting. It’s important to do your research before making the jump, so you know what to expect. Here are nine pieces of advice for anyone considering a career change.
1. Evaluate your reasons for wanting to change careers
Before you take the first step towards a career change, it’s important to consider why you are making the switch. Your reason for wanting to change careers will play a role in what changes you need to make and how successful your transition is. For example, if your reason for wanting to change careers is that you want a better work-life balance, then you will need to select a career that allows you to work normal hours. If your reason for wanting to change careers is that you are not passionate about what you are doing, then it’s crucial that you do some research on the types of jobs available in the new industry before making the jump.
2. Do your research
Once you’ve established your reason for wanting to change careers, it’s time to do some research on the new industry. Use the internet and your network of family members and friends to learn more about what is involved with particular jobs, salaries, typical working hours, and training requirements. For example, if you want to know how to become a bail bondsman, you need to look up the requirements in your state, take the appropriate training, and decide if you want to work for an established company or start your own. By doing this research, you increase your chances of staying in the new career for the long term.
3. Talk to people currently working in your desired industry
Once you’ve done some initial research into the new industry, try to speak with those who are currently working in it. Ask them about their experiences and what they like and dislike about their jobs and new careers. This will give you a first-hand perspective on their career experience and will help you make an informed decision. This may also give you insight into what would be most beneficial to your career transition, such as with regard to formal education or networking opportunities with industry leaders.
4. Prepare for changes in salary
The most common reason reported by people who switch careers is that they are seeking higher salaries. If this is your reason for wanting to change careers, you should know that there are several factors that can affect salary in a new career, including education, experience level, and location. For example, when you’re looking at jobs in the IT field, it’s important to consider the role of the job in addition to any salary requirements. A low salary for an entry-level technical support job may be acceptable if you’re looking to break into the field but won’t work for someone with several years of experience. By doing your research on salaries in your desired industry, you’ll know what to expect when it comes time to negotiate pay.
5. Plan for changes in your working hours
When you switch careers, it’s also important to prepare for a potential change in your working hours. One of the most common reasons people make changes in their career is to accommodate family life or personal responsibilities. A new career may mean less stress and more flexibility when it comes to setting your own schedule. You should also consider the type of industry you’re joining and what time employees typically work. For example, a college student looking for a summer job as a lifeguard may not have to plan around regular business hours since that job will likely be part of the seasonal tourism industry. Whereas someone looking for a new career in finance could expect to follow the typical nine-to-five workday.
6. Prepare for a learning curve
Most jobs you start in your new career will require some degree of training and education before it’s possible to be successful. For example, if you want to become a police officer, there is quite a bit of required knowledge and skills that need to be learned through training courses and on-the-job work experience. Even when you choose a career in which you already have some working knowledge, it helps to be aware of the additional skills and training requirements for your new job. If you are currently working with no formal education or are considering self-employment, it’s important to research the education requirements needed for your desired industry.
When you make the decision to change careers, there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration. You should research what is required for your desired industry and look up any information about salary ranges, typical working hours, and training requirements. When speaking with people in the field or researching an occupation online, it’s important to think about whether this career will provide a better work-life balance or if you’ll have more flexibility when it comes time to set your own schedule. Remember that changing careers may require some degree of learning curve so don’t rush into anything without doing proper research first!