To switch or not to switch?
The question we often ask ourselves but seldom find the right answer to. In the following write up, we explore factors to be considered when contemplating a career change.
Here is a message one hears often as the key to wellbeing : Live your best life. One way to "live your best life" is to do the type of work you love. However, if you're feeling "stuck" in a job, then you are likely to feel that it is more of a hostage situation instead. It may even be a case of the "golden handcuffs," which means that your lifestyle would be impacted if you were to leave your job. Yet, if you find your work environment to be hostile, if it is making you literally sick, or if you're at the point where it is time to pivot (for various reasons), here are five things (in no particular order) to consider when it comes to making a career move.
Break free from your stereotypical definition of success.
Ask yourself how you define a successful career. If you've obtained a particular title or coveted office space, yet find yourself constantly watching your back because you're fearful someone is going to do you damage, it might not represent the idea of success you initially pictured. Fear based living can have negative consequences on both your physical health and your emotional well-being.
Acknowledge the burnout
Always remember, mental health is priority. Issues like toxic environments, anxiety-ridden nature of the job, a lack of internal management etc. can lead to some pretty serious burnouts. An itch for change in general can prompt similar negative feelings. Sometimes people are hired to do something very specific at their job. Once that is accomplished, there kicks in a feeling of being unable to offer anything more. In such scenarios also an individual might experience a burnout because of feeling redundant. It's very crucial to identify this and steer away from factors or a career in entirety, that evokes similar demotivating emotions.
Are your skills transferable? Then brush them up!
The most obvious but imperative factor – analyzing, if you are suitable for a specific role or profession. More often than not, you may find that you are, in fact, not cut out for the job that is your goal. In a scenario such as this, focus on whether you can home yourself to fit in. Certainly, you'll need the skills required to be applicable in that field, and what’s a bit more complicated is how to get those skills so you'll qualify for a new job in a new career, and shine through the competition to earn the job you've been dreaming of.
Research what's in demand by sifting through job descriptions and desired skills of the positions you are interested in. Make note of common points and that is the skill set you need to build and train yourself for, to carve your pathway to a successful career change.
Build Your Network
Now's the time when you want to start meeting and getting familiar with people who are experts in the field you want to move to. Attend trainings and seminars for your initial networking. Aim to reach out to people you admire or look up to in the field. You can do this by following them on social media and interacting with them from time to time. Ask them about the onset of their career, and what they suggest would be the best way to break barriers and get into the industry. Get acquainted not just with the people you want to emulate, but also other people who are doing what you do now.
Ask: What is the growth trajectory like in 'Your New Career'?
The thought of a possible career change may be stimulating, but have you pondered over the possibility of growth? While making a decision of this stature, it is extremely crucial that you choose a career option after weighing every single one of the pros and cons of being in that field. Pick a career that is flexible and will, in future, allow you to explore new opportunities. If there is no room for growth, it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself stuck in a dead-end job/profession and regret making the career move.
A lot of people change careers for multiple reasons. Maybe they're switching from something they've been doing to something they want to do; probably they wish to pursue what they love as their profession, or they're unemployed or stuck in a job they don't care for. Changing careers and trying something new can be a good way to amp things up and get a fresh start in a new field. At the same time, it can put your career back decades, and make you overqualified, underpaid, and entry level when you need to be making professional-level money. Before you make that career change, you should make sure it's the right decision for you.
Take some time to learn as much as possible about the field you want to move into, and the skills required to do the jobs you want to do. Obviously it's not a replacement for real-world experience, but demonstrable knowledge is a great thing to have even if you don't have a long-drawn work history.
Finding success is relative when it comes to your professional domain. And the point here is that trying to prevent that sinking feeling you get each time you think about work is like trying to stop the storm by hiding in your home. Being stuck in a bad job is unhealthy. You can’t talk away the stress. if you try to minimize it, and you feel your heart burning with anger and fear, then it certainly is time to consider shifting to something new.