At some point in their lives, many people feel the desire to make a career change. In today’s job market this can be a very scary process but it doesn’t have to be. Taking time to explore your options and get to the root of your unhappiness could be that extra push you need to get going in another career or the incentive to stay in the one you’re in.
The first thing you need to know is why you feel the need to change careers. Are you simply unhappy with your current work environment or coworkers? In a study completed by Right Management it was found that only 19% of employees were satisfied with their job. That means over 80% of people felt some level of dissatisfaction in their position. Evaluating the reason you are unhappy will help you determine whether you want to make a permanent change to a different career altogether, or look for the same position at another company.
An important tool in your career change, self-evaluation forces you to take a closer look at yourself. Put together a list of your skills and compare them to your current position. Does your present job utilize these skills? Also, consider your weaknesses. Do you see any areas that need improvement? Think about past volunteer and work experience and ask yourself what you liked or disliked about those positions.
Who Do You Know?
Scan your brain to think of people that you may know in different professions that may be able to give you further information. Many companies will allow you to shadow their employees in order to learn whether that particular position is right for you.
Another idea is to spend time volunteering or completing freelance work in the industries you have chosen and never miss an opportunity to meet new people. Any contact you make could end up being very important in your search for your new career.
Enlist the help of friends and family to point out strengths or weaknesses that you might not otherwise have noticed. Be open-minded and welcome their ideas without taking offense. Sometimes another person’s insight can be a great determination on how you will come across to future employers or coworkers. If you see a pattern emerging it might be sound advice after all.
Compare and Contrast Careers
After using these tools, compare and contrast your list of career possibilities and thoroughly research each one. How are they similar or different? Discover if your skills match up with those needed for each career choice and rule out those that you determine not to be a good match for yourself. Be realistic, and realize that although you may be interested in a certain area, it might not always be the best career match for you.
A complete career change is not always necessary. There is a possibility that you can be trained in your current position to learn the skills necessary to advance to your desired job within the company you work for. Ask your employers if they offer any additional education or training.
In considering jobs outside of your current industry, find out what additional education you might need in order to enter the career world of your choice. Many local community colleges offer classes in continuing education and there are many classes and degrees available at night and online for those that cannot attend classes during the day.