A career is a profession or occupation that often requires a particular education or training. A career could also be a series of job experiences in a particular field that one is promoted, it could also be the combination of educational background, training, and job experiences altogether. It is more of an objective mindset, setting up the path for the long term with goals to accomplish. More often, having a job doesn’t mean having a career because a career becomes so when the mindset of staying on that job path with intent to grow, be promoted, and aim to achieve certain goals, then it becomes a career largely with vast knowledge, training, and experiences acquired on the journey. It could be for a decade or more, and for some, it is a life long experience and achievement.
Transitioning into a new career could be a life-changing experience. There are several reasons why you may want to change your career or rather transition into another career, which may be entirely unrelated to your current field or in some situations in close relations with your current career, whichever it is, it is really a big step to resign from your current career and launch into another career completely. It is often more than not an uneasy undertaking but with proper self-evaluation and mostly change in career objectives or strong convictions of newly developed interests, it turns out to be a new challenge and a deliberate action to stir into new directions.
Most people switch careers due to so many available factors, this may include pursuit for a higher remuneration rate, stressful occupation, need for a better work balance and flexibility, or simply fading interest in career life, just to mention a few. These are all genuine factors that can actually reduce productivity and cause the capacity regression of an individual, which are inadequacies that won’t contribute any substantial value.
Watch this! – 10 Warning Signs You Need to Change Career
There are various steps to follow when you feel or think it is time to change your career, it is important to be properly guided with a sequence of events that would help you to rationalize your decision to do so.
For this course, we would look at about 10 significant steps that would ease the change into that new career you feel the pull towards.
- Analyze your current job satisfaction
The world keeps evolving so also does technology and it’s effect on the work environment creating a highly competitive industries and the global market is taking another form. It is not far behind that employers has also changed the concept career development, it is left in the hands of employees to have a self motivating direction in order to navigate the sail of their careers. For everybody to win, it is important that both parties understand the essence of job satisfaction. There is a model that translate job satisfaction for employees which puts it that employees are in suitable position to attain success and satisfy the job requirements offered if only they are able to connect it with their unique attributes such as ability, interests, personality style and values.
Performance in a job and fitting is the core of satisfaction for both employee and employer. Once you are satisfied with the salary structure, other organizational rewards, vacation time, and other job-related satisfiers then you are able to commit deeper and help contribute immensely. Well, it is important to evaluate the satisfactions often or periodically, this assessment will help you to have a sense of personal appraisal and development. When there is an introduction of new tools or change in an organization’s operation, this may impact sometime heavily on performance. Needs often change which may sweep you to a level of you are not just satisfied anymore. It is just an utmost important outlook.
- Understand your interests, skills, values, and personality
This set of factors are particularly compulsory know and understand about yourself in pursuing a career, they are factors that help you to achieve happiness and the feeling if self fulfilment. Understanding your aptitudes or abilities is the first key factor, which you could have gained through education and field training. There are a lot of skillset so it is important you narrow down your skills as you acquire them. You should be aware that there are also transferable skills which are which are quite of personal strength and could be used in multiple fields or at any place at all, which could be the home, school, work environment just to mention few, are very salient to highlight this skills kind of especially.
There should also be an interest checklist which could cover achievements, hobbies, likes and dislikes at other environments of former endeavors, favorite class, just to mention a few, would help in interpreting them into a possible next career.
Values are more intrinsic and as well as important because they help you to ascertain the choice of career satisfaction, such as being a team player or a lone wolf, collaborative or competitive, etc.
Finally, your personality is an attribute that makes you unique, which forms distinct qualities and is important to recognize in choosing a fulfilling career path.
- Make a career research
After assessing your interests, values, skills, and personality yet again then you should advance to another step of making research Considerably about the career you would like to join. Making useful research has to cover a number of components after you are able to navigate through the number of careers you have in mind. The education level requirement, experiences required, and likely if training is offered are good points to look at in your research, this will guide you to know if you would need additional extra training or would need to volunteer for a period of time in order to gain the first-hand experience.
Checking the compensation structure is also another point to have a lookout for, it will create an idea of what the likely pay could be since one of the many essences of changing careers is to have a paid upgrade, your experience from your previous field can help you start the career at a median level rather than an entry-level which means a significant pay plus a career of your dreams. If your dream career would not meet your expectation financially, you could have a rethink and diverge into a career where you can put your strength to better use also.
Informational interview is something you should be familiar with and knowing the benefit would do good in helping your decision in a long way. Finally talking to a career counselor would be a last resort in making your discernment come into reality, especially in a state of confusion about conflicting interests.
- Conduct a survey on occupation options
Getting to this point is drawing up an initial plan to actually carry out an evaluation to narrow down your choice of career. This is so because at times after understanding the core competencies you might be faced with multiple choice of career or jobs in relation to your strength. This survey will help you to narrow down with the submerging factors of interest, values, skills, and personality. There is a wealth of resources at the growing pace of technology, hence using an online tool like Google can help provide you the results to carry out this survey on various job options in the same field or career.
- Analyze your list of occupations
This is another step that takes you closer to narrowing down your list of viable occupations in this new career path, mind you, your new career path may still range within your current industry. Scrutinizing your list has helped you shorten them into a smaller chunk, realizing that the larger cut off part failed to appeal to you ranging from different reason, which could be lower remuneration, training or education requirements hence you won’t appreciate working with those conditions or can not meet them, then the remaining part of your list is now ready to be explored. In order to further explore your list of occupation is to engage with field of consideration, probably with professionals already working in that role or field, so you would be able to have a first hand insight on how the work really is. Exploring your list of careers has helped you not to limit yourself to just one interest or skillset, it is a way of spreading your tentacles to finding the right fit for yourself.
- Narrow down your list
Every step has brought to light that there is a need to create a list of possible occupational endeavors, and gradually narrow them down to different categories of lists. This may seem to be more time-consuming, but at this point you should be encouraged to carry on, since you are only capable of effectively participating in one career at a time and you would want this endeavor to be worth doing. Your research will effectively be usable here in order to cut down your list, from all you have learned from your research would help you to do this with informed guidance. For example, some occupations that may need time and energy in educational degrees or low income could be factors to strike them out of your list. Conducting a final informational interview at this point is to enable you to collect deeper data from the people involved in the industries or field of choice. Technology advancement has helped made this easier as well, you can easily use LinkedIn to connect to people in field of interest if you do not know anybody personally to conduct this interview which should be in an informal form of approach.
- You should set up your plans
This is the phase that has to do with some more advanced plans from gathering previous information on particular careers and industry then it is time to set up a plan that will actively achieve your aim, most often referred to as career goals. Getting to this phase is completing half the circle of a successful career, the actual completion is accomplishing the set goals you have in place, so the essence of setting a clear career goal is a having a roadmap that will guide your future endeavor. There are a few criteria that are considered when setting up a career goal; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Specific goals are ultimately meant to achieving success creating milestones that are distinct to an individual. Measurable career goals guide the fact that in setting up a plan it should be estimated for a time frame. Attainable goals encompass the part of goals being practical and can be achieved logically. While being realistic is the part of actually having the necessary competencies to transition to this new career or occupation, and not the least being timely, each broken chunk of goals should be allotted to a timeframe of achieving them. Following this criteria, you would be said to have followed the principles of the smart goals. It would in reality help you to position your short-term goals and long-term goals in a proper and clear perspective to ease achieving your general aim.
- Pen down your career action plan
Immediately after setting up a plan, it is time to write it out as an actionable plan to actually follow. It is obvious to begin with the short term goals in order to achieve central objective. For example, a short term goal can be illustrated with getting the basic training or probably volunteer experience in order to fulfil occupation requirement, a short term goal should be framed within period of six months or a year, if another requirement would take you two years or more then it would be fixed as a long term goal. Fulfilling short term goals are expected to hand you your first job in your new career. Basically there are no rules in writing down your plan, so far it is a clear path that is understandable by you. List out you goals and by each of them create a sub-list of steps to take in order to achieve the listed goals. You might also include obstacles that maybe some sought of possible ‘blocker’ and then highlight how you tend to go past this obstacles. Finally, you should exercise flexibility in writing down this action plan for your career, it should be a living document dynamic enough to receive changes whenever you feel they are due. The last tip on this step is, if you eventually get to your primary objective in the long term goals, you may still find it useful to further write out another long term goal to achieve, as this would be a very useful tool over the years and as you accomplish your objectives in your new career.
- Equip your self for your new career
This is just almost the final step to carry, on this phase you would have to arm yourself with some education about the role you want to play taking off your new career, aside from the certification as a form of the requirement of your new anticipated role, you should be well aware of what you are really going to be involved with and how you are supposed to carry out duties assigned to the role. Getting this knowledge will help forge a form of a strong foundation to demonstrate your abilities in this new career path. In some cases, volunteering is the best way to acquire first-hand coaching in the field in which you would want to have a career in, without prior experience. It creates an opportunity to add it to a resume as part of your job experience. Finally, since you only want to transition to another career you must have had loads of experiences from current or previous career and roles, though true you may not need all of the experiences you had, but nothing can replace your transferrable skills which are often referred as soft skills like leadership skills, team spirit motivator, management skills, just to mention a few, are essential skills that should come with you when walking into the door of another career, they would help in contributing to your career performances as well as the workforce hence making you fit for the role and satisfied.
- Finally, embrace your new career
By this phase or time which is the final one you must have adjusted your resume and other relevant documents for this transition or change of career, also at this point, you must also have considered and known if you are switching totally to anew industry or remaining in yours but just a different career entirely. For example if you are having a career in product design and you have grown uninterested or feeling unchallenged about it anymore seeking a change you may first consider within your industry like switching to become a project manager which will be great because you have first hand experience with people involved in this role and would be able to transition fast than going outside the doors of your industry. However, if you are currently unemployed then all you need to embrace, is a new job and career, but if you are actively employed in your current career then get prepared to deal with the nervousness that comes with this final process with both co-workers and employer and you are on your way to a brand new dream career.
Benefits of a Career Change
There are different data from various surveys every year from websites and organizations showing several statistics, telling the benefits of a career change mostly which is earning a higher paycheck generally boosting morale and the feeling of being happy. According to a survey carried out by jobless made a four-category list of benefits enjoyed by people who transitioned into new careers; 77% feel happier in their new roles or occupation, 75% receive more job satisfaction, 69% are more fulfilled while 65% feel less stressed also in their new roles. Further, most people that change careers earn as high as an additional $10,000 or more annually compared to their last career or roles.
Developing new skills is quite a benefit also you earn entering into a new work environment which you won’t have until you actually experience the job and grow as well. Changing into another career would influence you to grow adaptability which is a tool that will sustain you all along with your settlement into this new environment especially if it’s not a familiar industry. You are once again in control of your destiny and career, it actually takes a lot of courage to enter a new career, at the same time it builds your confidence and boosts your self–sufficiency which is an attribute some employers look out for. You would also be able to build new relationships with entirely new people, yes, that feeling of leaving your old colleagues sometimes is quite hard, but if you do switch jobs or location every few years then you are always opened to opportunities of making new friends from new colleagues as well. They would be as excited as you to teach you a few things that will incorporate you into the spirit of the team and company, this is easier if you are a people’s person, else you should try to be more friendly with fellow co-workers.
Here you go, these steps pulled together are set to guide you through your transitioning your job or career change. The same way you feel that pull into joining a new challenge or career so also is the urgent necessity to have a plan put in place with a fully conscious mind lacking every form of skepticism towards making this big move in your life. A wise person once said ‘the hardest decisions are likely the right choices for us’ there is so much wisdom in there, but varies to everyone differently as well