When you finish high school or college, it feels like there’s a lot of pressure to pick a career for the rest of your life. And while some people might stay on the same path until they retire, many others don’t. You didn’t have to pick a lifelong career then, and you don’t have to stick with the one you have now. If you think it might be time for a career change, it can be a hard decision to make. If you need to retrain, it will cost you time and money, and if you don’t, you’ll still be going into new territory. Changing careers could mean a pay cut or a change in hours, but it could also make you much happier. Think about these factors before you make the leap to decide if it’s right for you.
Reasons for Changing
Before you make the leap and change your career, think about your reasons for doing so. You don’t want to get away from one set of circumstances in your current job only to end up in the same situation in a new career. What do you want out of your career? What is it about your current job that makes you want to leave, and what do you find attractive about the career you wish to move into? You should do your research to make sure you know what it involves, including the good and bad.
You may be considering moving into a career where your current skills and qualifications are suited. But many changes of job will mean that you need to retrain. For example, trained solicitors might use their skills to move into a career in politics or finance. But if you wanted to become a lawyer, you would first need to gain the necessary qualifications. Consider the time and money required to retrain for your chosen career. Can you afford it, and fit it around other commitments?
Salary and Career Progression
Moving into a new industry may mean that you have to start again from the bottom. Even if you move straight into a job with lots of responsibilities, you might still take a pay cut. Your salary is a significant consideration when you change careers, especially if you have a family to support. Think about the opportunities you will have to progress too. Are you likely to gain promotions or are their few chances to do so?
Time and Working Hours
You’ll also need to take into account how much time you need to put in. Apart from the period when you might need to retrain, you could find yourself working more in a new career. On the other hand, you might be switching jobs because you want to work less. Remember to take this into consideration.
Whichever career you want to switch to, don’t forget to check the job market. The last thing you want is to retrain into a field where there aren’t enough jobs to go around.
Photo by Alexander Solodukhin
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