3 Major Considerations When Changing Careers

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It’s perfectly normal to want to change career paths later in life. Not all plans can be followed through to the end ⁠— especially when one has a strong desire to change their career trajectory. In fact, a survey on career changes notes that 49% of people make a dramatic career shift eventually in their lives, making the jump from one industry to another.

There’s a lot of reasons to change careers ⁠— from choosing a job that pays better to chasing lifelong dreams. However, it’s important to remember that shifting careers isn’t an easy ordeal and important considerations should be made first when making the big leap.

If you’re thinking of switching careers, read on to learn 3 of the major factors that you should consider before you step into a new professional calling.

Are You Truly Passionate About Your New Career?
Before you change careers, ask yourself if you’re really passionate about making the change. Try to figure out what motivated you to make the switch. In our previous post on changing careers and avoiding career-killing mistakes, we mentioned that you shouldn’t just be pushed by money or being sick in your current job situation. When considering the idea of changing careers, consider the aspects of the new position that would increase your job satisfaction and ask yourself whether you can apply them to your current position. If you feel that you would be more passionate elsewhere then that is a valid reason to consider switching.

Are You Financially Ready to Make the Switch?
You shouldn’t switch careers if you can’t afford to be unemployed for the foreseeable future. Not everyone can just make the switch in a snap, and most times, you’ll have some downtime to gather yourself before you start at a new job. This is why it’s important to evaluate your current financial situation before you change careers.

Furthermore, it’s also important to ensure that you have enough money to finance any classes or training required when switching careers. Indeed, doing this is incredibly risky, and not being ready can land you in difficulty. So, make sure that you have sufficient savings to sustain you during the transition period, as well as a backup plan in case things go sideways. Plus, a guide to switching careers also points out that there is the matter of taxes and retirement accounts to think about. For instance, if you’re paid at a lower rate compared to your previous job, you might be eligible for tax deductions. Additionally, you also have to consider your retirement accounts, especially if you’re splitting your 401(k) with your previous employer. By assessing your finances, you ensure your financial security while you transition to greener pastures.

Do You Have the Expertise to Back You Up?
Of course, you can’t just switch careers without having the professional skills that your new job or industry requires. Other than having the right education, it’s also important to undergo training seminars and classes that can be included in your resume to maximize your chance of making it in your new job. To help you with this, be sure to do your homework by always checking job boards and company websites to see the skills that your prospective job requires. Furthermore, you should also research into other potential jobs that you might encounter in your new line of work. Doing so can help you widen your possibilities and maybe land you in a better position that’s the perfect fit for your skills and interests.

Career strategist and leadership coach Emily Eliza Moyer points out that career regrets are perfectly normal. In the event that you have the urge to leave your job for another, be sure to first heed these tips to raise your chances of making it in a different industry.

This article was written by Jillian Collins.

Jillian Collins is a Washington-based HR advisor. She’s worked in several industries, assisting growing organizations in the recruitment and training processes as well as developing workplace policies. Her spare time is spent contributing to blogs, tending to her small garden, and caring for her grandmother who has looked after her since she was young.

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