It is not unusual for people to change careers. According to Careers Advice Online, career change statistics suggest that the average person is expected to be making a career change approximately 5-7 times during their working life.
Anyone who wants to advance in their career will be on the look-out for new interests, opportunities, and rewarding initiatives to be part of. Whatever the reason that propels the need to make a career transition, there are certain things one needs to know and take into consideration before making their big move.
1. Know yourself, where you belong, and what you really want to do
Building a career and finding a job are not the same thing. If you have got to the point where you don’t want just any job but are looking to advance in a certain field or specialization, then you need to really think through who you are, where you belong, and what you really want to do.
Find out what interests you, and how you feel about pursuing this interest on a long-term and make sure you are moving because of this. For example, if you are currently a secretary in an organization, but have a passion and interest in Marketing then, it is only prudent that your pursue a career in Marketing when the opportunity for a career transition comes knocking.
2. Don’t Change Careers (solely) for money
Money is important. In fact, it’s a necessity. But do not make the mistake of basing your career transition on money. Don’t venture into a career just because the monetary prospects are high.
Understand that every career comes with its own challenges and problems, and while one career may be financially rewarding than the other, you may realize that it’s taking a toll on other aspects of your life like health or leisure. The key to being successful in one’s career foremost is to enjoy what you do, so that it doesn’t even feel like work.
3. Do your Research on where you want to move and acquire necessary Skills
Know what career you want to pursue or be identified with, and do your research thoroughly in that area. Having a relevant skill set in your chosen career is important if you want to add value to yourself in order to stand out in the crowd.
Truth is, you’re not the only person with interest in that career. There are many who have gone before you and many more will come after you. So what differentiates you from them? Why should anyone want to hire you and not them? It all comes down to what you have to offer better than anyone else.
The timing of your move is equally important in preserving your career image. There have been instances where people have literally run away from their careers just because they were having a hard time and have left employers in a crisis of finding new replacements in very limited time. If you have to leave a job because you want to pursue specific career interests, do so in the right manner. Let your employer know why are moving.
Furthermore, it is imperative to consider how long you have been with the company and how the ‘sudden’ move will affect you and not just the business. Ideally, you might want to be at least two years old in a company before moving to the next. If you have to go, a ‘calculated’ move is always the best.
5. Leave Gracefully To Pursue New Interests
When you have made the decision to move, do it gracefully and using the right channels. Once you are sure it is time for a career change and you’ve prospected and secured new grounds, be sure to close all pending business deals under your management in your current job or career, and finish and hand-over all projects. Don’t burn good bridges just because you have to change careers.
It is important you understand that a career transition may not be smooth. Have a financial plan. Also, you may have to compromise on a few things to get to where you want to be. However unsettling this may sound, if you have already decided that the change is necessary, then it is time to do it.