Making a career change is not easy. I mean, change in general is a difficult thing for most of us to endure and when it comes to work, it’s no different – except there are more risks involved in terms of wages and living expenses.
And yet, without change we stagnate and close ourselves off to opportunities that are just waiting to be grabbed.
Of course, no one is saying you should make a decision in the heat of the moment, but if you’re serious about changing your direction, consider asking yourself a few of these questions first:
1. What are you looking for that you’re no longer getting from your current job?
You might not necessarily be unhappy, but perhaps you’re in a position where you feel like either there is no longer any room for growth, or that you’re simply ready to be adventurous and try something new.
Have you discussed these concerns with your boss?
If wanting to leave is hinged on the fact that you aren’t getting opportunities when there actually are some available, then maybe consider exploring those options before making the big leap.
2. Have you done enough research about the field you want to find a career in?
Think of it as a job interview – since you’ll eventually want to get to that stage. How much do you know about the field? Have you researched companies and do you know what the general wage is for jobs in that specific industry?
The Huffington Post adds that another key factor is also determining what kind of further education you might need before you leave your current career.
Also, speak to potential industry peers and determine the level of skills, knowledge and resources required before jumping headlong into a new position.
3. Are you willing to wait and prepare before switching careers?
To add on to my last point, changing careers isn’t something that is always immediate. In fact, according to Bustle.com it actually requires a complete willingness to start from scratch.
And that means you can’t necessarily change jobs instantaneously. Well, unless you have the financial resources to spare.
It might also mean that you have to deal with starting at an entry level, so if you’re switching jobs because you’re looking for something that offers a better wage you might want to stick to just moving to a different company in the same field.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, participate in internships and even get a mentor or coach to help you make a big leap, then you’re already half way to getting that new job.
4. How worried are you about failing?
Making mistakes, feeling regret and experiencing frustration about life and career choices are completely normal. I know many people who studied in one direction, only to discover that the field they’re studying is not the one they want to continue with.
And that’s okay.
The thing is, you’re not going to discover what it is that you really want until you at least give it a try. This is also why it’s a good idea that you don’t just quit your job immediately. Give yourself the space to learn and discover what you want – and if it doesn’t work out, don’t berate yourself.
Want to try and ensure that you don’t waste money – although personally I feel that a learned experience isn’t necessarily a waste – then start off by searching for free online courses. They might not be in-depth, but they do at least help to give you a sense of what direction you want to head in.
There is something for you, even if it takes you more than one try to discover what it is.
WATCH: How to change careers when you're lost