A Short & Sweet Guide to Changing Careers
Choosing a career is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make—and like other important decisions, it’s hard to undo once you’ve made it.
However, just because you’ve been working in a specific role or field for years doesn’t mean change is impossible. Here are three things to consider when you’re thinking about switching careers.
Am I doing this for the right reasons?
When you’re miserable at work, your mind will naturally start exploring other options. You may find yourself fantasizing about professional roads not taken and looking at job listings for jobs that couldn’t be more different than your current one.
But your role might not be the problem. What’s actually making you unhappy? Is your boss incredibly challenging? Is your salary too low to support your lifestyle? Is your workload undemanding and unsatisfying?
These are all great reasons to leave your job, but not your career. Before you start thinking about leaving your field, be honest with yourself about your motivation.
Think about what makes you happiest (and unhappiest)
Make a list of the work responsibilities you enjoy the most, whether that’s helping your direct reports learn a new skill, creating in-depth reports for your manager, or developing product launches, among other things.
Then make a list of the work responsibilities you enjoy the least, such as settling disputes between your team members, fixing bugs, and so on.
Next, write a separate list of the personal activities you enjoy the most. Perhaps you love coaching your niece’s hockey team or writing book reviews for your personal site.
Last, look at your lists and search for overlap. Let’s say you love teaching, whether you’re helping your team members or the hockey team. Or you enjoy illustrating, whether you’re coming up with animations for your company’s employee retreat or doodling for fun at home.
These trends will guide you toward picking another career that fulfills you more.
Soften the landing
No matter what, career changes are hard. Luckily, there are several steps you can take that’ll increase the chances you land a new job.
First, talk to people in the industry you want to switch to. Ask which skills they recommend you learn (or at least start to learn) before you transition. Ask which companies they’d recommend you apply to (some are more likely to consider non-traditional candidates). Ask which organizations they recommend you join to build your network.
The more you can prepare yourself, the better. Use their information to identify classes, projects, and people you can use to get a leg up before you leave your current role.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the eighth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 27 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.