Switching careers is a challenging and overwhelming move. There are bills to pay, a family to support if you have one, and savings to fill. You’ll still need to find ways to earn money while looking for another job. Indeed, it’ll be much easier to change careers if you have some financial cushion.
Looking for a new job is like a job in itself, making this endeavor more challenging. You have to conduct your research, interview people with similar jobs you’re aiming for, build your network of professionals, and study new skills you’ll need for your new job.
You Are Not Alone
However, despite all the challenges, many people still want to change careers. It turns out you’re not the only one wanting a career switch.
According to a Reuters report, just 14 percent of workers in the United States believe they have the perfect job. Looking closely at the report, the desire to change careers varies with age. Of the workers in their 20s, a whopping 80 percent want to change jobs. Workers follow this in their 30s with 64 percent and those in their 40s at 54 percent.
The Cost of Being Unhappy with Your Career
No one embarks on a career path from the outset and decides to go after another so quickly. Unhappy workers don’t fall out of their profession intentionally. It happens gradually. People, company culture, and working environments change. These can all affect one’s perception of a happy workplace.
Years ago, it was customary to stay in a single job for decades. Today, however, it’s relatively normal to change jobs several times throughout one’s career. In the same way, the culture that you liked with your company when you first worked there may be different now because of societal trends or demands. Or perhaps your higher-ups change some aspects of your office building to keep up to code. Somehow, this new regulation altered the view from your building’s glass windows because of constant real estate development around the area where you worked.
There are many reasons you can fall out of love with your career, and there’s nothing fun about taking all the changes while you continue to work. It can negatively affect your mental health.
According to some experts, being unhappy at work or continuing to work while you’re unhappy with your job can cause insomnia and other sleeping problems, low self-confidence, depression, and anxiety. It can also affect your physical health, causing weight gain or unintentional weight loss, stomach problems, weaker immune systems, and body aches.
If you decide to stick it out even after experiencing health issues, being unhappy with your career can eventually harm your personal life. After knowing all this, there’s a way to make the career switch an easy undertaking. You can start a new career and be happy with it with the proper planning and mindset. Here are five steps you should take to prepare yourself for an easy career switch:
Step 1: Evaluate Your Career
Take a free online career test. It will provide you with a self-assessment of your skills, interests, values, and personality useful for your career search. The results can help you find out which jobs are perfect for you. Narrow down your list and decide on a single occupation that you think will suit you best.
Alternatively, you can work with a career development professional who can help you decide on a new career path.
Step 2: Identify the Skills You Need to Master
After knowing which occupation to pursue, identify what skills you’ll need to perform your new job when you get hired. You may have to learn new skills or improve those you already have.
Step 3: Set Your Goals and Deadlines
Next, set a deadline for your goals. Your short-term goal is to study or improve skills, while your long-term goal is to apply for a new job.
Step 4: Develop a Career Action Plan
Create a list of actions you need to accomplish your goals and when you should do them. Include all the barriers that can prevent you from doing these actions to address them early.
Step 5: Apply for a New Job
You can now apply for a new job. But don’t say goodbye to your old career yet, especially if you’ll be faced with financial consequences. Make sure you’re already hired for a new job before quitting with the old one. This way, you still have income while waiting for a new job.
It’s common to get stuck in a situation even if you want to make changes. However, this is only true if you don’t know what to do. With the steps above, you can now change your career the way you’ve always wanted to. Good luck!