Why Make A Career Change 9 Good Reasons
Consider Educational Resources And Develop New Skills
If youre considering moving into a field that requires a degree or certifications, you may need to seek additional education beyond your current work experience. College courses, continuing-education classes or even free online resources can help deepen your understanding of your new potential career.
If youre employed, find opportunities at your current job to gain the skills you need to make a career change. For example, a marketer who wants to move into finance may ask for control over the marketing budget to gain skills regarding working with ledgers. Seizing opportunities like this is helpful, but only if you remember to apply those newly gained skills to your resume and cover letter.
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How To Change Careers: Find What To Pursue Next
Dont ask yourself whether your job is the one. Your career is meant to be filled with exploration.
- Think of each role along your career path as an opportunity to explore.
- Expand your network and make connections to learn more about new jobs.
- Identify your strengths and consider training or job shadowing to expand your skill set.
There are many reasons people want to switch careers. You may be looking to grow, feel that you have advanced as much as you can in your current job or feel burned out. But pursuing a career in a new industry can be intimidating, particularly if you are working remotely. More than six million people decided to change occupations, according to 2015 and 2016 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was before the pandemic led many to explore different career opportunities, either by choice or necessity. If you are considering changing careers, here are some steps you can take.
To find a new career, first identify your strengths.
You know yourself better than anyone else. While asking friends and family for advice is sometimes helpful, those people will be much less creative than you can be when dreaming up alternative career paths, says Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive, and a professor at Duke Universitys Fuqua School of Business.
Reflect on your current job, as well as any other roles you have had.
Dont limit yourself.
Grow your network.
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Consider Going Back To School
If you need additional education to pursue a new career, consider night or online classes to complete a degree program or certification. You can also attend local seminars, workshops or webinars if you’re looking to earn skills in a certain area. Another option is to attend a professional development conference with keynote speakers and interactive courses to improve your knowledge of industry topics.
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Determine What You Need
Once you’ve landed on a few careers that ignite your interest, consider what it’s going to take to transition to one of them.
Depending on the career, there may be certifications, degrees, or endorsements that are either necessary or would make you a more competitive job candidate. Find out exactly what kind of qualifications are expected by looking at recent job postings, and also speak with people working in the career to find out what additional expertise they recommend. If you’ve already got your bachelor’s degree, you may only need a certification for certain jobs. For example, while associate and bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies are available, someone with a bachelor’s degree can study for a paralegal certificate in a year or less.
Where to start:
O*Net Online: Learn deep information for thousands of jobs, including education level of those currently employed in the career credentials required and/or available.
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Switching Careers In Your 50s Doesn’t Have To Be Scaryyou Can Actually Make It Enjoyable
Changing Careers After 50
Before turning 50, I couldn’t figure out why so many people who reached that milestone made such a big deal of the event. Now that I’m safely past 50, I understand.
If there’s a single word that describes the difference in my life since I turned 50, it’s “adjustment.” It seems I’m constantly making adjustments of one sort or another and faster than I ever did when I was younger. It takes me more time to do certain tasks, and I’m not as fast at recalling important names or events. So, to continue enjoying a rewarding life, I’ve had to learn how to adapt to my advancing age.
As a career counselor, I’ve noticed that successful career changing for the over-50 group requires a variety of adjustments. The following thoughts have proved helpful to my older clients:
You Dream Of A Different Career
If youre spending your time sitting at your desk, twirling your hair around your finger, googling jobs, bookmarking interesting companies in your browser and wondering wistfully what it might be like to work from your bed or a friends co-working space, then you need to get out of your job and into a career that interests you.
An old saying states that Hope deferred makes the heart sick and I couldnt agree more.
Listen to your heart and make changes to your career to make it happy.
- You always have a browser tab open on a jobs listings website
- Youre often reading about the lives and careers of people you admire to distract yourself from your own job
- You hate telling people what your job is at parties, wishing you could say something different
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Switching Careers Into It: A How
Switching to a career in IT is within your reach, even if it may seem daunting. Anyone with the desire to get an IT job can find one that suits their unique skills, talents and interests. There’s a good chance that many of the soft skills you already have apply to a career in IT. One of the best things about IT careers is the sheer number of them. You just have to identify the right one for you and make a plan to acquire the experience and/or training you need to market yourself to hiring managers. Here are some specific steps you can take for successfully switching careers into IT.
The Pros And Cons Of A Career Change
A recent survey of career changers, carried out by Joblist, found that those who had switched jobs were overwhelmingly happy with their decision. Those who took the plunge expressed a range of positive outcomes, including:
- Happier – 77 per cent
- More satisfied – 75 per cent
- More fulfilled – 69 per cent
- Less stressed – 65 per cent
In fact, 80 per cent of the survey respondents said they wish they had made the change sooner. However, thats not to say that everyone who changes their careers is happy with their decision. When asked whether theyd make the switch again, 75 per cent said they would, 13 per cent said they were unsure and 12 per cent said no.
These are a few common reasons why people regret making a career change:
- Financial insecurity – Changing industries can lead to a period of unemployment, a requirement to pay for further education or an entry-level salary.
- Trial and error – The day-to-day reality of working in a new industry may not be what you imagine. It can take time to find a job you enjoy.
- Stress – Finding a job in a new industry without any relevant professional experience can prove to be more difficult and stressful than you think.
- Higher stakes – If youre changing careers to start your own business, the emotional and financial investment required could bring more worries personally and in business.
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How To Switch Careers
Whether youre changing careers at 50 or at 25, change is still scary. You may feel you have to take a pay cut or start over from the beginning. You may also feel burnt out from your current job and youre not even sure you have the energy to start something new.
However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you dont end up falling flat on your face.
Discover Your Program In Minutes
According to a 2014 job satisfaction survey by The Conference Board, over half of all Americans are unhappy with their current job. While younger workers may be quick to make a change, workers over the age of 50 may feel that the only choice they have is to stick it out until retirement. A common misconception exists that after a certain age it’s too late to make a career change. Quite the opposite is true, however. With the average age of retirement rising, many people over 50 may have 15, 20, or even 30 years of working life left in them, and some choose to spend the remainder of their working years in a new career.
People age 50 and over are in a unique position to have plenty of workforce experience to bring to a new career, while still being able to obtain the knowledge they need to take on something new. This guidebook walks you through the process of changing careers over the age of 50, including how to get started, where to get additional training, and what types of careers might be right for you.
What constitutes a career change? Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics isn’t quite sure. A career change can be dramatic, like a lawyer becoming a tugboat captain, or more subtle, like a teacher becoming a corporate trainer.
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Be Proactive About Your Next Steps
Once you have a better idea of why you want to change careers and what you want to find, take courses or go to conferences that will help you gain the skills and contacts necessary to land your dream role, Jay says. You will likely want to do this before you leave your old job to ensure you like the new path you’re embarking on.
Snow decided to make a career switch while she was on leave from her flight attendant job during the coronavirus pandemic. She left Delta and got a temporary gig as a clerk at a courthouse while taking intensive coding courses through a program called Zip Code Wilmington, a coding nonprofit in Delaware. The organization also helped her land a new job.
Jay also advises setting up informational interviews with people who have a similar role to the one you are interested in so you can learn the good, the bad and the ugly.
“You want a full picture,” she says. “Not having all the information you need to make the right decision and not knowing what you really want out of a position and a company, that’s the biggest mistake.”
Explore Other Educational Options
Although many careers in information technology don’t require you to go back to college, a few of them might. If this is the case with your desired career, you may want to find the right option for yourself at a university. More and more reputable schools offer online classes, and these can be a more flexible option, particularly if you’re not ready to quit your current job.
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Reasons For A Career Change
Whether you’ve reached your limits and are unable to progress in your current role or would like to challenge yourself by putting your skills to use in a different setting, there are various reasons why you may be looking to make a career change.
Some may be feeling the need for a change of scenery or schedule, such as those transitioning into self-employment, to fit around other commitments.
There are also certain professions which have proved popular with career changers. For instance, you can enter areas of teaching and law from a range of backgrounds. The nature of these careers means they’re particularly suited to those with previous experience of working in other sectors.
If you’d like to try something new but aren’t sure where to start, consider taking the Job Match questionnaire. In just a few minutes you’ll discover the roles where your skills could prove to be invaluable.
How To Find A Role Thats Right For You
So youve really drilled down and discovered what your perfect working day looks like now what? If you know you want to shake things up but youre not sure what job fits your fantasy, what do you do?
Finding the right role doesnt need to be difficult, says Isla. Make a list of key things you want in your new career, then check job ads. Look at different sectors, highlight the words/elements that appeal to you. Not the things that really turn you off, she suggests. Talk to friends, ask them what they like about their careers, check out LinkedIn, do some internet research. Or ask your friends for five jobs they think you would enjoy or be great at.
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Consider Your Core Values
In any job, its important to find a good cultural fit. Examine your values and understand what type of company culture will complement your personality. Do you value autonomy, community, innovation? Would you be uncomfortable working somewhere where maintaining the status quo is encouraged? Or maybe its important to you that youre working toward a benevolent cause.
Whatever your values, when taking this type of self-inventory, its important to be honest with yourself. Think about those friends jobs you covet. Are you actually interested in their role, or is it really the freedom and empowering culture you crave? Find out what makes you feel alive, even if its not what you think you should be doing. It may be that your values have changed since you first started workingand thats ok. Just be clear on your priorities today.
Youre Only There For The Money
Money cant buy me love, the Beatles famously once sang. And its the same when youre hearts not in your job.
Having enough money to live on and to be content is very important, but earning lots of money in a job that sacrifices your own happiness is not worth the pay-off. Having a career where you feel like you are following your calling and that brings personal and professional satisfaction beats all that money hands down.
Material things will never make up for hating your job, because even with those beautiful, designer shoes, youll still be walking to the same office every day.
- You tell yourself youll only stay until the January bonus
- You buy yourself nice things to make up for the pain of having a job you hate
- Youre envious of friends with less well paid jobs but who have job satisfaction
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Determine What You Want Out Of An Information Technology Career
What are you passionate about? How much money do you want to be earning? What makes you happy in a professional sense? Helping people? Solving problems? Being able to show off your creative side? These are questions you should ask yourself as you begin to research possible career options. You need to take a personal inventory of everything you desire out of a job and really ask yourself, what career is best for me?.
Advice For Career Changers
You know youre ready to make the change, and maybe youve already determined what career is right for you. But whats next?
Research and preparation, according to Stahl.
It is very important to do your research regarding the requirements for the position, company and industry of interest, she said. Employers are looking for candidates with experience plus education, so do your research to understand the requirements and start gaining experience now.If you decide you want to become a therapist, for instance, you may discover that youll need at least a masters degree in counseling or other graduate degree. On top of that, theres licensure to consider and a required number of clinical hours.
A recent survey revealed that one out of every four people who have completed some college but dont have a degree would go back for more education if they knew it would help them get the job they are seeking.* According to Stahl, higher education can be a good launching point for professional change.
Consider pursuing an education program that will teach you the necessary concepts for the career and provide exposure to the discipline, she said. Continued education can provide a greater depth or breadth of knowledge and help bridge your knowledge gap.
Forty-one percent of recently surveyed individuals agree, believing one of the biggest benefits of earning a college degree is starting a new career.* Among associate degree holders only, that number increases to 51%.
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When Is The Right Time For A Career Change
There are lots of different reasons why people seek a career change. You might want more money, less stress or more flexible hours, or perhaps youve always dreamed of running your own business or turning a hobby into a career. Whatever the motivation for your career change, there are a few telltale signs that will indicate when the time is right.
A fulfilling career should provide a boost to your confidence and self-esteem and not make you doubt yourself or the work you do. Enduring a toxic workplace culture or a career you no longer enjoy can grind you down and impact on your long-term physical and mental health. If thats how you feel, then its time to get out now!
Working in a job that you hate but which pays well is not worth the payoff. A career change could give you the chance to land a job that brings you personal and professional satisfaction but still pays the bills. If you get the Sunday night dread or have to buy yourself nice things to compensate for the pain of your working life, you need to make your move.
No one leaps out of bed in a desperate rush to get to work every day. We all have days when we feel de-energised and lack the will and enthusiasm to be at the top of our game. However, if you feel like that all the time, then you have a problem. If every aspect of your job is mind-numbingly dull, you know its time to make a change.