Changing Careers? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks

Changing Careers? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks

Swapping careers isn't a decision most people take lightly. Even with all the contemplating and planning you do before finalizing your decision, you may struggle to get started. Switching careers is no easy task, regardless of your age and experience. Before you get started, check out these tips and tricks.

Think About it Carefully

Before you make any final decisions, really think about what it is you want. Are you just having a rough patch at work? Would it be better to switch employers than to switch careers? Or is it time to completely change your profession?

To get the answer to those questions, think about your current situation. If you meet any of the following circumstances, it's probably time for a career change:

Your industry is no longer needed

You have new priorities

You never wanted to get into your current career

Meanwhile, don't give up on your career if you simply don't like your boss, benefits package, or co-workers. In these situations, finding a new job in the same profession is your best bet. You don't need to give up on your career yet.

Don't Put Salary First

Money isn't everything. When you're considering a career move, don't allow the earning potential to fuel your decision. While you need a minimum salary to enjoy a certain quality of life, you shouldn't only care about the finances. Look for a career in line with your financial needs, but don't let the dollar signs take you down the wrong path.

Details like the job duties, the hours, and the requirements all matter. In addition to considering the salary, you should think about what your life would be like in the career. A lower salary is often worth a better work/life balance or more upward mobility. If you make all the money in the world but hate your job, you won't be happy.

Research, Research, Research

When it comes to finding a new career, you can't do enough research. This is a huge decision that will affect you for the next few decades. Before you quit your job and move on, do extensive research.

As you delve into a new career path, think about these details:

  • Projected industry growth
  • Daily duties
  • Hiring outlook
  • Employee satisfaction

Get your information from forums, Facebook groups, government data, and any other resources. As you read up on the career, imagine yourself working in that capacity. Can you see yourself spending the next few years working in the industry?

Don't Quit Too Early

So, you made up your mind and plan to switch careers. One of the biggest mistakes is to quit too soon. Although you might find it hard to stay motivated in the workplace, don't quit right away. Wait until you have a new job in your desired career, and then put in your notice.

By waiting to quit, you make starting a new career easier. If you leave your job too early, you need to explain why you have a gap in your resume. Furthermore, you could end up rushing into a job with the wrong employer because you can't afford to wait for the perfect job offer.

Talk to Your Network

Until you actually speak to a person, you can't know what to expect from your new career. Researching a topic is great, but it doesn't tell you everything you need to know. Additionally, researching doesn't give you leads on the latest jobs and opportunities.

To be fully prepared for the switch, do some networking. You should get on social media and connect with people, and attend local networking events in your new career. Even if you're an introvert, come out of your shell and meet people. At some point, your network could help you get started or advance your career. Until then, your networking furthers your industry knowledge and could help you decide whether or not a career is right for you.

Don't Take Education Lightly

More often than not, a new career requires a new education. If you need to take a three-month course, you may not think twice about switching careers. But two or three years of education is a different story.

The prospect of going back to school is intimidating. Before you decide to do it, consider the cost. Student debt can haunt you. Will the job ever repay that debt, or is the salary too low to make it worthwhile? Can you take on the debt without struggling?

There's also the time commitment. If you want to quit your job and get a new one immediately, you don't have the luxury of getting a full education. On the other hand, you might be able to handle quitting your job and only focusing on your education for a year.

If getting an advanced degree is too much for you, there's no need to lose hope. There are many careers that don't require special degrees. It could be in your best interest to pursue a career that doesn't have such stringent education requirements.

Change Your Resume

This may seem obvious, but it deserves a mention. Every time you submit your resume, it should be tailored to the job. When you switch careers, your resume needs a complete overhaul.

Before you make changes to your resume, check out sample resumes from employees in your desired career. Then, read over your resume and consider how you can change it to be more suitable for the new job.

It's so helpful to read job listings for positions in your new career. Pick out a few skills and credentials you should have. If you possess any of them, include the skills and credentials on your resume.

Be Prepared for the Interview

When you switch careers, you may have the disadvantage of lacking experience. In your Interviews, you need to show hiring managers that you make up for the lack of experience with other qualities.

Be ready to explain why you chose to switch careers. If you give a confident and impressive answer, the hiring manager might overlook your missing experience.

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