For those who feel like they have embedded themselves on a certain career path, the thought of changing it can be scary. But some studies have posited that Americans could change career a maximum of seven times during their working lifetime – and even if that’s not going to be the case for you, there’s no reason why you can’t do it at least once or twice. From fleshing out your reasons for wanting to make a change to ensuring that you have the support of your loved ones on side, you can get a handle on your fears and worries and take concrete steps – like enrolling on retraining programs. Let this blog post be your guide and suggest to you just how a new career path can be taken.
The first, and perhaps most difficult, question which any potential career changer might need to find themselves asking is why they seek to change in the way that they do. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for a career change: perhaps you feel isolated or lonely in your current job, or maybe you’re not fulfilled enough by it to contemplate staying in it for the rest of your working life. Once you have your reasons clear in your head, you’re likely to find that the eventual move becomes easier because it will help to weed out the alternative careers that you don’t want. You’ll then be able to identify careers which don’t bear the hallmarks of your current one, and hence avoid making the same mistake twice.
Switching from one career to the next isn’t simple, and the main hurdle will be whether or not you have the right qualifications for the job. Say you’re planning to switch to a career in business, but you haven’t worked in business before. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to walk into your preferred new job without having some sort of qualification profile. It’s important to do your research, and to find the best program for you: a business degree or degree in any subject from a random institution isn’t a guaranteed route to success, and choosing a reputable college is important. Remember to read the list of modules, and also to see if there are any entry requirements or pre-tests which you might have to pass first.
Support of family and friends
Career changes can create the conditions for a significant amount of stress and worry, for a whole range of complex reasons. First of all, they can create situations in which you may need to divert time currently spent on some sort of family-related or other activity into studying or retraining, and this can have knock-on effects: you may need to rely on your partner more and more for childcare, say, or you may have to tell your friends that you can’t hang out with them as often. You might also quickly find that you have to take a temporary pay cut or opt out of the workforce for a while as you learn. As a result, the support of your loved ones will be crucial in ensuring that you can navigate what are often tricky waters as simply as possible.
Fear and worry
Often, a lot of people have idealized views about their first careers before they go into them – only to find those views shattered after a few weeks or months, as resentment sets in. It’s easy to come round to the way of thinking that all careers will be as bad as the one you’re currently experiencing, and this can sometimes be the main barrier to switching careers. This is especially true if you’re in a career with a defined hierarchy and trajectory, as it may start to seem as though everyone around you is stuck on the same crazy hamster wheel. However, it’s wise to remember that not all career paths are going to be like the negative ones you’ve experienced. In fact, some career paths are likely to be perfect for you – and without ever taking steps to change, you may never know just what you’re missing.
Setting up a new career for yourself is nerve wracking, but it’s something that many individuals do. Whether you’re going from nurse to novelist or from banker to teacher, there’s a career path out there which is right for you and which can reward you spiritually or financially. All you need to do is find out how to get there and then take a leap into the unknown.