Do you feel that now than ever before is time for a career change? Choosing the right career is never an easy task, but following your heart and passion is worth every effort, under the condition that you have planned it carefully and systematically. With the right planning, the switchover can be exciting, motivating, and regenerating instead of a new daunting beginning full of stress and disappointment.
Below are some strategic points that you might want to consider if you plan a career change:
· Be aware of your motives. What are the reasons for your desire to change careers? Do you feel underappreciated, underpaid, overworked, or unsatisfied in your current position? If so, search deeper in your feelings to discover whether your current employer or the career field as a whole is the true reason of your dissatisfaction.
o If you find out that the source of your unhappiness is focused on one person, for example on your employer, or on the specific company you work for, change employers or company rather than starting an entirely new career. Because you understand that it’s much easier to find a new job within your current career field, in which you feel more confident because you already have experience in, than to get your foot in the door of a totally new career field.
o If the main reason is being underpaid or overworked, than reconsider if it is necessary to change employers. Maybe discussing the problem with your supervisor and telling them how you feel, may bare fruits and you won’t need to quit your job, if it’s something that you enjoy doing. If you're an asset to the company, you may have the ability to negotiate and make an agreement for a raise, promotion or fewer working hours, if this is something also important for you. So, it’s a good idea to try it, before you make the decision to change your professional life totally.
· Broaden you knowledge. If a drastic career change is what you really desire, such as going from being an executive assistant to a career as a nutritionist, it’s obvious that you'll need additional training. Nevertheless, more common career changes, such as going from executive assistant to office consultants may require less continued education, if any at all.
o Visit an admissions advisor of a local college in order to ensure whether you need to enroll to a course that will give you all the skills you’ll need in your new career, or not. If so, find out more about the course regarding scheduling, whether it can be done online or on campus, tuition assistance, and so on.
o Make a research on the new career’s requirements and qualifications needed by searching for job postings online which fit the career field you'd like to enter. In most cases, the employer or the recruiter will list the required qualifications and experience necessary for the job.
o In some cases, a certificate may be enough to get your foot into the door of a new career field and save time and money studying for a degree when it’s not necessary. For example, in most states it is required to have only a one-year certificate in professions such as cosmetology or carpentry. If your passion falls into these categories, you may want to consider investing on such a one-year course.
o Examine the possibility that additional training may be all you need to do to improve your current career. Maybe additional education will be enough for you to be considered for a promotion or more challenging work within the organization you’re currently working.
· Take it slowly. I know that sometimes it maybe difficult to implement, especially when you feel that you can’t stand your current job for even one minute more, but try to stay in the same job position until you are sure you’ve made a formal employment agreement for a position with a new employer, because you can make better decisions with your pocket full. Arrange job interviews while you're still employed and only quit your current position once you've found a job.
As said above, when you have already a job and money coming in your bank account every month, you have more bargaining power in terms of salary and work conditions when considering a position with a new employer.
Once you've secured a position, maintain your professionalism and give your current boss a two or three week notice. I know that you have dreamed about this moment of entering your employer’s boss and telling him or her that you’re fed up with him or her and you quit the same day, many times but stay professional and take care of your reputation. The lengthy notice and your professional manner will further increase the chances of a good recommendation and it will prevent your ex-boss from informing your new employer about the unpleasant way your professional relationship ended.
Since financial crisis has hit all countries and continents as a domino, you may need to think twice to plan a career change now. On the other hand, others support that crises generate opportunities and there might be one out there for you! There are still many jobs available for qualified candidates. If you aren't happy in your current position, life is too short to continue to spend eight hours, per day, at least, being unhappy and miserable.
The key to success here is careful plan and confidence to yourself. As long as you plan carefully to ensure your personal and family's security, your efforts in seeking employment in a career field will bring a positive outcome and will improve your quality of personal and professional life, as well.