Unless you absolutely love your field (and even if you do), you’ve probably contemplated a career change at one time or another. Apart from personal satisfaction, sometimes your position or career can drastically change or even become obsolete as time goes on. One career counselor expert estimates that people have at least six careers in their lifetime. Taking that into consideration, at some point in your life you’ll probably find your self wondering if you are ready to change careers.
When you change careers, you need not entirely change industries, which can make your previous experience a crucial selling point when you enter the job market. For instance, you could have been working in marketing within a certain field and then earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources and change to that career instead while staying within your field. Often these sorts of career changes require further education, so it’s something to think about well ahead of any necessary career change.
Another question to ask yourself when you consider changing careers if whether you’ll be looking at an increase or decrease in salary. Pay increase can be a powerful motivation to switch to another job, but if you’ll be taking a pay cut to follow your passion, you’ll probably want to make sure you’ve got very healthy savings and low debt before you contemplate the move. Taking stock of your family’s financial health is a good first step if you see a career change on the horizon.
It’s always a good idea to start networking in a field you plan to enter well before you are ready to start job hunting. Not only can this help you find and land a new job when the time comes, talking to people already in that career path can give you a better idea of the challenges you might face, as well as help you understand what the outlook for that particular field may be. Also, consider keeping an eye on industry social media and publications and even attending industry events or conventions.
Beyond prepping to understand your new career, it’s a good idea to take stock of how to make yourself better qualified for a new field of work. Further education is often part of any career move, so assess what education you may need and plan appropriately and be sure to calculate how much tuition costs may offset any financial advantage to your career switch. One great thing about exploring further education opportunities is that it may help point you to education and career options that would work well for your particular situation.
Finally, it’s definitely time to start reviewing your resume and brushing up the way you showcase your skills and strengths for your new planned career. And take a look at your LinkedIn profile and see what may need attention there as well in light of the exciting new career path you’re excited to begin.