The choice of a career is a very sensitive one. We spend more time working on our careers than we do on any other thing. Consequently, the choice of staying or making a career switch is a huge one. One that must not be undertaken casually.
I know what it feels like to be frustrated by a wrong choice of career. Based on research and a tinge of my personal experience, I have come up with 6 things you need to do before making a career switch.
1.Objectively consider the risks involved
Look, you have bills to pay. Water bills, electricity bills, credits to settle, mortgage fees and the likes. Those bills are not going to respect the fact that you are currently out of job. Well, that is if your career switch doesn’t fall through as expected.
I know a couple of persons who haven’t recovered from the aftermath of such a major decision. Some of them are still in so much debt. I am not trying to discourage, I am just suggesting that you take a critical appraisal of all the risks involved.
Ask yourself what if this switch doesn’t fall through, what do I stand to lose? Can I cope with the possible aftermath?
2. Evaluate your motives
Having considered the risks involved, why do you want to make the switch?
Your motives are key to a successful career switch. Moving from paid employment to starting my own business and owning my own brand was a big step for me. My motives was simple, I wanted more time to work solely on my talents and skills, and impact more lives, which my last career didn’t give much time to do.
Plus, I always felt more fulfilled each time I worked at my talents. So a career switch was one I was determined to make.
So ask yourself motive-identifying questions. Why are you interested in a new career path? How does it relate with your life goals? What is the motivation behind your desired switch?
Don’t confuse hating your boss/employer/job for hating your career. If your current career meets your life goals but you simply hate your boss/employer, you could simply consider getting a new job in the same career path.
If money is your motivation, consider discussing a pay rise with your current boss too, instead of switching.
3. Study the mistakes others have made
Once you are convinced about your motives. Changing your career to something more suited to your values, skills and interests, is a welcome idea. But to make an effective switch, you need clarity, confidence, courage, and competence. To acquire these, you need to discover the very mistakes to avoid, for a successful career switch.
Some the mistakes to avoid includes making a career switch without a plan or just because of money.
Making a career switch can be frustrating especially if you are moving to a career you have less experience in. Every employer looks out for experienced personnel. So no matter how good you were at your last career, you need to network with people who would vouch for your previous experience or advice you in the new.
Make new friends in your new chosen career if need be. Join a professional body if you can or a master mind group.
According to Dasha Amrom, founder and managing director of Career Coaching Ventures, “The best way to understand the internal culture of a business and the way it treats people, including during their recruitment process, is to talk to those currently employed within the company. Spread your net wide – from junior to senior employees to really understand how it all works and whether the culture is accepting of career changers.”
5. Rediscover yourself
This whole decision is about you. You are the most important person in this process. You need to really understand yourself better to ascertain what you truly want.
Do you know your temperament? Yes, it says a lot about your personality and choices of career that are open to you. What are your life vision and goals? Understanding this is key to choosing the right career.
What are you passionate about? What do you love to do? What kind of working environment brings out the best in you? Look, except you are working at what you love, you wouldn’t find fulfillment.
If your reason for pursuing a career switch is money. Well, that is not so bad but money doesn’t equate happiness. It’s just money.
6.Consider Taking a Psychometric Career Assessment
Psychometric assessments are standard scientific tests used to measure an individual’s mental capabilities, cognitive abilities and behavioral style. These tests are designed to measure your affinity for a course, stream or role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude for the same.
I know you have a thousand and one career-related questions. I did too, when I was faced with a career switch decision. I found a Psychometric Career Assessment very helpful, you could too.
Your career is a very important part of your life, and making a wrong choice could well lead to living a life of frustration, and we don’t want that. The steps above I believe will help you make that informed choice.
Here’s to a flourishing career!
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