Top 3 Reasons Why People Want To Change Careers (And Tips For How To Make The Transition)

Man on laptop thinking about making a career change

There are many reasons why people want to change careers. But can you guess the top three reasons why a professional might consider a career change today? What is the driving force behind making such a big life decision?

A recent FlexJobs survey announced the common reasons why people are changing careers. Here are the top three, and tips for how to successfully make a career change.

Why People Want To Change Careers

Woman thinking about changing careers


Based on the FlexJobs survey mentioned above, these are the top three reasons for wanting to change careers:

  • Better work-life balance (56%)
  • Higher pay (50%)
  • More meaningful or fulfilling career (49%)

Better Work-Life Balance vs. Higher Pay: What Would You Choose?

Man holding laptop happy at work after changing careers


If you want to make a career change, you're probably doing so for at least one of the top three reasons listed above. What's most surprising about this survey is that the top reason professionals are changing careers is because they want a better work-life balance, beating out the desire for higher pay by 6%.

Another interesting finding is that two out of the top three reasons why people want to change careers aren't based on money or benefits or any other career advancement factors. They are based on personal growth and fulfillment.

Even though we are often told throughout our lives that money can't buy happiness, it seems as though more and more people are taking this advice to heart and are realizing that a higher salary would not make them happier; having the time and space to do what they truly love and focus on what really matters would.

Think about it. If you wake up in the morning feeling miserable and dreading work, it's most likely because you do not have anything in your life that excites you—nothing that sparks joy or gives your life meaning or purpose. When you think about the day ahead, you're not looking forward to anything. How do you solve this problem? Well, if you change careers, you could achieve a better work-life balance, which would give you time to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work. You could also find a job that excites you, working for a company with a mission you're passionate about, where the work has a purpose and it feels fulfilling. Does a higher salary have more value than that? Most career changers say no.

So, why are you (or why would you be) motivated to change careers? For better work-life balance? Or for higher pay? If you had to pick one, which sounds more appealing?

5 Tips For Successfully Changing Careers

It's important to have a strategy in place when you decide to change careers. Making a career change isn't easy, but there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of success. Here are five tips for successfully changing careers:

1. Inventory your skills

What are your transferable skills? What other skills do you have that are in demand in your target career and industry? Write them down, and make sure to include them on your LinkedIn profile.

2. Create a bucket list of companies that you want to work for

Are you passionate about a company's product or service? Do you connect with an organization's mission or values? What companies would you love to work for? Write those down too. This is your interview bucket list, and it is essential for all job seekers, not just career changers.

3. Make new connections

It's true. In your job search, it's all about who you know. If you want to successfully change careers, you'll have to step up your networking efforts. Connect with people at your dream companies from your interview bucket list and start a conversation with them on LinkedIn. Then, be sure to consistently offer value to your professional network. You never know who will contact you with a job opportunity.

4. Update your resume

Write a targeted resume with your ideal career in mind. Focus on your transferable skills and quantifying your work experience. Also, be sure to customize your resume for each position that you apply for. An optimized resume is invaluable, especially for career changers.

5. Be ready to tell your story

The most important tool in your job search as a career changer is a disruptive cover letter, which will allow you to tell your story and stand out to employers. Storytelling is incredibly powerful. In order to successfully change careers, you need to connect with the companies you're applying to and the people who work at those companies—and the best, most effective way to do this is by telling a compelling story.

As a professional, you've probably thought about changing careers at some point in your life, either seriously or just out of curiosity. Nowadays, most people are making the change because they want a better work-life balance. If this sounds like you, follow the five tips above to get started on your career change today. A better career (and life) awaits!

Need more help with your career change?

Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

Man on laptop enjoys summer while working full time

There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this. Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.

Read moreShow less