Career changes can be scary. They require bravery and boldness at their very core. To put it bluntly, a career change is much more than just switching jobs. A career is how you define your professional self and reinventing this whole image can be frightening and confusing.
What's the difference between a job change and a career change?
Job change: typically in the same industry and considered a lateral move or moving into a position that is very similar but with a new employer.
Career change: starting from scratch, possibly even in an entry-level position within a completely new industry.
Are You Ready To Make Changes?
Career changes require strategic planning and can't simply flourish overnight. It may also be unsettling to think of doing something new professionally when you've become an expert at your previous position. You may question:
- Can I learn a new skill?
- Am I capable of this transition?
- Do I need to go back to school?
It's important to remember that you can absolutely make changes, it's just about having faith in yourself and conducting the proper research on what new skills your new career will require.
Example: You want to switch to a marketing field but you've been in a chemistry/science-based role for years. Is your first instinct to earn another degree? Well, without proper research, how do you know this is the right decision?
Not thinking these decisions through can lead to unnecessary time, money, and brain power wasted on your career transition.
Example (continued): If you went back to earn another degree because that was your first instinctual step, what if this same degree does not increase your probability of finding a new position? Then, you're left with more student loan debt and no promising job prospects.
This is why research is key! Try these routes first:
- Network with someone currently in that position and see if they can provide tips on how they got to where they are.
- Use Glassdoor or Indeed to learn about the position's technical side:
- What are the responsibilities and day-to-day tasks like in this role?
- What's the salary?
- What are the job postings listing as required education and skills?
- Search for options that can still help you reach your goals, i.e., an internship or part-time position to get your foot in the door at one of your bucket list companies.
That can be a lot! The whole concept of a career change is not easy and we understand!
You're leaving what's comfortable and familiar behind to explore an unknown territory full of new opportunities and challenges. You may have also entered your current career for the wrong reasons to start off with, which adds to the stress of needing this change down the road. Most importantly, there is no proper time or place for a career change.
Why invest in a career change? It could very well lead to improvements in...
- Sense of purpose
- Career fulfillment
- Job satisfaction
- Work-life balance
- Happiness levels
So, when it's time for you to make a move, you'll start to notice these telltale signs regardless of your gender, age, background, or career level.
Here are five crucial signs to examine that will give you some insight on what your next professional move should be.
1. Are You Unmotivated And Unproductive?
Motivation is a key ingredient to being successful in the workplace. If you're no longer feeling that spark or energy to get things done, it's time to ask yourself why.
2. Are You Depressed?
Monday blues have now become 24/7 weekday blues, which means you're hating every part of your workday from waking up in the morning to trudging through your commute and boring meetings that make you want to hit your own head with a shovel.
You also notice that you're much happier on the days you don't have to go into work.
This is a problem, my friend.
3. Are You Envious Towards Your Friends' Jobs?
Are you wishing multiple times throughout the week that you had a job like your friend's, neighbor's, or someone you admire? Before you dismiss this as just immature jealousy, ask yourself why?
This answer can be a directional sign that works in your favor.
Are you jealous because they get to be more creative? Have more work-life balance? Get to work from home? Have a positive workplace culture? You'll learn quickly what it is about your career that's making it intolerable and what you need to do next to fix it.
4. Have You Lost Sight Of Your Passions?
You feel disconnected from your job and maybe start to question why you even started this career in the first place. You're eternally bored and your values have changed.
Example: Perhaps you started this job because it offered professional growth but you realize you've been in the same position, doing the same projects for years with no future promotional prospects.
5. Do You Have Any Upward Mobility?
You don't even bother taking part in work initiatives or bringing new ideas to team meetings because your previous ideas have been flat-out rejected and sit in your mind collecting dust.
Point blank: You're no longer interested in your company, its people, or contributing to its profit. You don't see where you fit into your workplace's culture or success and you're just coasting along.
If you recognize some of these five signs in your career, it's time for you to make a career change!
We know making a career change can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Our career coaches can help provide guidance and expertise on how you can successfully transition between careers.
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