Career Changes - Things to Consider
There are many reasons why you may want to consider a career change. It may be that you are tired of your current job and have a yearning to earn a living in an area about which you are passionate. It might be that you want to re-train to find a better paid job with more prospects or that you wish to scale down your workload and take on a less demanding job that restores a better work-life balance.
Whatever the reasons for a career change there are a few factors to consider.
Identifying Areas Where you will Need New SkillsSome people are fortunate in that they might already possess the relevant skills to pursue a career change, perhaps through a hobby they have or training they’ve completed previously. However, for many, they’ll simply have a passion for a specific line of work and may need to Learn New Skills from scratch. It’s useful to talk to people who are already experienced in the field of work you’re considering and ask them what kind of career change or retraining programme they would recommend and/or additional skills you’re going to need and then to determine if that’s practical for you in terms of your own goals alongside any other commitments you might have.
ConsiderationsThe main considerations should be to establish:
- What you will get out of changing career
- How it will affect your life and that of any immediate family you may have
- Any practical issues that you need to also take into consideration.
Therefore, before jumping the gun, it’s worthwhile to do some research first and make some notes which you can then use to weigh up your options. You can then use these findings to compare all the different factors against your current role in order to establish if a career change is definitely the right thing for you to contemplate. There are plenty of career advisors who specialise in career changes and who can offer you career change advice and help.
Financial ImplicationsRegardless of your reasons to change career, money is inevitably going to be a factor which has to be considered carefully. Find out how salaries in your current position compare with those in the career you are considering. You should easily be able to establish this via the internet or through scanning the job advertisements in the press. Don’t just consider the salary itself. Remember to compare any benefits too, such as a company car, holiday entitlements, pensions etc. Also, you need to look at expenses. Perhaps, you might have to travel further in your new career or you might even have to move home. This would also have financial implications.
Work/Life BalanceFor many people, they often choose a Family Friendly Career change which will allow them to free up more time to spend with their family or to pursue some other interests which aren’t possible in their current role. Will the career change allow you to do that? What about training? You may initially find that you might have to study and work at a job to learn new skills so it may be that, during the early stages, you’re actually working and studying longer hours in order to combine study with the need to still earn an income.
So, You’ve Finalised Your Decision…What Next?Once you have weighed up all the pros and cons, consulted with your family and have decided that a career change is in your best interests, it’s time to move towards the transition phase from one career to another.
There are a few ways people do this. Firstly, they may look to gradually reduce their hours from their current job and start spending more time on the plans they need to put into place to begin their new career.
Some will continue their new role alongside their current career for a while. Whether it’s study, voluntary work or just making the preparations for the change, many people still need a regular income during the transition and, though they may find they’re putting more hours in initially as they juggle their existing commitments with the time needed for their new plans, their efforts will often be rewarded in the end with minimal impact upon their finances.
Others may have the necessary skills to change careers already or it may be that they have the skills to become self-employed and can therefore quit their jobs completely and begin their new career straight away.
The important thing is to take your time and do your research thoroughly and not to be rushed into making any rash decisions which may come back to haunt you later.
Changing careers, particularly later in life, can be exciting but, managed improperly, it can be quite daunting too but if you’re convinced it’s for you, then it can often offer a bright new beginning for a lot of people.