One of the most unsettling times of everyone’s life must have been when we made a career change, whether that involved quitting our medical school for pursuing a career in business, relocating from one location to the other, or leaving the corporate world to start something of our own. Once you decide to change your career, you must have come across people giving you career change advice. Though this is helpful, it makes people confused also.
Make no mistakes, career pivots involve more and more friction, and risk than just staying on a linear, traditional career path. Before we move to career advice, let us first understand why people change their careers.
Why do people change their careers?
There are various reasons why people want to change their careers. It is a personal choice but there are many factors involved in it. The top five reasons why people change their career are:
- Better Pay- 47%
- Stress- 39%
- No work-life balance- 37%
- Looking for a new challenge- 25%
- The present field does not interest you- 23%
Steps to a Successful Career Change
Review this career change advice for assessing your interests, exploring various options, evaluating different career paths, and making the right move to a new career. Assess your current job satisfaction. Keep a journal of your regular reactions to your job situation and look for the recurring themes. Which phases of your current job do you love and dislike? Are your disappointments related to the content of your work, the culture of your company, or the people with whom you work? While you do this, there are a few things that you can do at your present job to assist you to prepare to move on when it is the right time for a change.
Assess your values, skills, and interests. Assess all your past successful roles, projects, volunteer, and jobs to find the preferred skills and activities. Determine whether your skills and core values are addressed through your present career. Various free online tools can be used to evaluate career alternatives.
Consider alternate careers. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching various career choices, and discussing your skills and core values with family, friends, and networking contacts. If you are having difficulty in coming up with new ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for expert advice.
Check out different job options. Conduct a preliminary comparative assessment of various fields to identify a few targets for the in-depth research. You can find a lot of information online by searching for jobs on Google as per your interest.
Get personal. Find out as much as you can about those fields and reach to personal contacts in those areas for different informational interviews. A great source of contacts for the informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great source for finding contacts in certain career fields of interest.
Set up one or two job shadow. Shadow experts in the field of primary interest to show work firsthand. Spend few hours anywhere shadowing people who have jobs that will interest you. Your college career office is a great place to find alumni volunteers who are inclined to host job followers. Here is more information on job shadowing and how it works.
Try this out. Find freelance and volunteer activities associated with your target field to check your interest e.g., if you are thinking of a career in the publishing field, try editing a PTA newsletter. If you like working with animals, offer help at your local shelter.
Take a class. One of the common career change advice that can change yours and other’s life is to take a class. Examine educational opportunities that would connect your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at any of the nearby local colleges or an online course. Spend some of your time in one or weekend seminars. Contact professional groups in your target field for career advice.
Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions. One of the important career change advice is all about upgrading your skills. Find different ways to develop new skills in your present job which would bring a change e.g., an offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new sector. If your organization provides in-house training, sign-up for different classes. There are different ways you can place yourself for a career change without going back to school.
Look for a new job in the same industry. Another one in the list of career change advice is to look for alternative roles within your present industry that would use the industry knowledge which you already possess. For example, if you are a store manager for a big retail chain and have become tired of the extra working hours during the weekend, consider a shift to career-building corporate recruiting within the same industry, i.e., retail industry. Or, if you are a programmer who does not like programming, consider project management or technical sales.
Nowadays, career-changing is becoming as common as job-hopping, and based on your field of interest in transitioning into, you may be able to make the jump without too much sweat, tears, and blood. While some prevalent second careers may need a certain degree as well as credentials, there are a lot of other roles that people with different backgrounds can move into with a dash of business savvy and infusing of skill-building. Here are some of the common jobs with high salary packages which are generally referred to while giving career change advice.
Some of the common job roles which give high salary are:
Data Scientist- Data science is not just a lucrative job, but a broad one. As data science can be divided into various roles like data research, data engineering, data visualization, and much more- there is a good chance that your background relates to the field in a certain way. Whether you have a major in engineering, a former graphic designer, or someone on the business side who has taken an interest in analytics if you know what type of position to look for within the growing industry, you have got a leg up.
Social Media Manager- Do you prefer using innovative mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram for telling impressive stories? Are you looking forward to building a brand and increase the number of followers and a stronger community? Do you love to write witty remarks and write the perfect click-able sentence? Do you want to get paid for that? Well, if so, then it could be the right job for you. While in the initial stage, social media managers might not earn huge bucks, but salaries in the major markets can reach up to 6 figures. And as the demand for influential leaders in this area is increasing, so will their salary. In several industry circles, you are nothing without your social media marketing strategy, and companies, no matter big or small realized this.
Fundraiser- Educational institutions, nonprofits, and hospitals require money to continue- and pay a good salary to those who have the necessary skills. Encouraging people to give liberally is a big part of the job, so having a background in marketing or sales can be impactful as you try to transition in this field.