3 Important Things to Consider When Making a Career Change

I know you hate your job.

Well, I can understand that feeling, and that is because I used to hate my previous job too.

In my previous job, I worked as a data entry officer even if I could not even remember why I accepted the offer. At some point along the line, I noticed that I was almost getting frustrated with the job, and I wasn’t finding fulfillment in what I was doing.

So most times I could not even sustain my interest in the job, I made lots of errors that kept me under so much pressure. At that point, I knew I had not found my dream career and it was time for me to make a career change.

Do you want to know what I did?

I know you want to. What I did was simple; I just considered these three factors:

Before I go on to tell you what the factors are all about, I will love to share with you what I discovered about career change now.

What is Career Change?

Career change is simply one’s movement from a particular job field or group to another.

I used to think that career change is the same thing as a job change, but I discovered that they are two different things. Unlike its counterpart, career change involves a whole new direction while job change is simply moving from one job to another which can be in the same job field or company.

To make it clearer, I would like to give an example; imagine someone works in a particular company as a salesman, and after a while leaves the job or gets promoted and becomes a sales executive. What just happened is that the person just changed his/her job.

On the other hand, if the person leaves the sales/ marketing as a job field altogether and gets a job as web developer, then at this point you can say that the person has changed his/her career.

Knowing what career change is all about, I think it is now time for me to let you know the 3 factors I considered that made me find job fulfillment again.

3 Tips to Consider When Making a Career Change

1. Why Do I Want to Change my Career

Before you even think of changing your career, you should take the time to ask yourself this one important question “why do I want to change my career”. This is the first factor I considered when I was changing my career, and asking myself this question helped me discover a lot about myself.

Asking yourself why you want to change your career is very important because it actually serves as a moment of self-reflection and introspection for you. Knowing why you are doing something helps you stay focused, understand what you are doing better and also helps you make better decisions.

It is very necessary for you to get clear on the change you want to make and how you want to make it happen. Changing your career is not a decision you want to make hastily, it is something that you think through over and over before doing. It is common for people that are frustrated doing a particular job to decide to change a career. One thing you should take note of when you are thinking of changing your career is to understand the reason why you are doing that. Make sure you are not changing that perfect career because your boss is difficult to deal with or because you work in a toxic environment. Your decision to change your career should be based on tangible reasons that will have an effect on your career life as a whole.

Always consider your future career life and even the present whenever you are thinking of changing your career. You need to consider some of these before thinking of a career change:

• How will going into a new career affect my career life in the future?

• Is there something temporary about this present job and career that is making me want to change my career?

• Have I just gotten tired of what I do presently?

• Is this job too problematic for me?

• Do I just want to try something different?

• I there any growth path in my current job?

It can be really pressing to change a career especially when you are experiencing an unpleasant situation in your current job. Before you decide to make that career change, you should take the time to think about the cause of the situation. Surprisingly, the situation may not be as bad as it is if you did not contribute to it. Sometimes, your lack of efficiency or lack of skill-set can make you frustrated in a job.

It is quite normal for you to want a quick way out of a terrible situation, but you should also be able to consider the effect this situation will have on your career life as a whole.

2. When Should I Change my Career and How Ready am I?

This is one question that usually pounds on the mind of anyone that is thinking of a career change. It is impossible to give a plain calendar date as to when to give up on your career and look forward to a change.

When I first started hating my job, I did not know when I should change my career path until I felt really boxed up in a cage. I remember I had a reminder that alerts me every 5 minutes, it was that bad that I couldn’t wait for 5 O’clock every day. At that point, I knew it was time for me to change.

Although situations differ, you should not wait for it to get that bad before you look for a solution. Always make sure that your situations are as a result of the job and not you. I have always wanted to be a part of a building process, something more like creating something, but my former job kept me in a position that made my hands were tied. I could not make good use of what I had, so I knew I was wasting my time doing that job and I decided to go.

I may not be able to categorically pinpoint when you should change your career, but I think these suggestions can give you some signals as to when you should change your career.

You can change your career when;

You feel extremely stressed: If your work imposes a great deal of pressure on you, and even probably health challenges, then maybe it is time for you to change your career.

Doing a job that doesn’t really work well with your body’s configuration may not be the best option for you. If you find out that you have little or no time at all to rest, and even if you manage to rest, you are only trying to freshen up to continue the work, then that might be an obvious red signal.

Your work is the opposite of you: If you are doing a job that doesn’t represent you at all, then it could be the right time for you to change your career. Doing a job that is opposite of you don’t always have to do with you not performing well on the job.

It is possible for you to be very good at the job that you do and at the same time hate doing what you do. It is really hard to get fulfillment doing something that you don’t like to do. If your job makes it mandatory for you to undertake some responsibilities that you may not enjoy doing, then that is a signal that you are in the wrong place.

You feel it is only your compensation that is keeping you: It is quite common for people to say “I will remain in that job because of my salary”. I have heard a lot of people say that many times, but the truth is once you start feeling like the only reason you are doing a particular job is the reward you get at the end of the day, then you should consider changing your career.

It is important for you to understand that your happiness and career satisfaction is often times more important than the compensation you get at the end of the day. It could be surprising that what may bring you happiness may pay off well enough later on.

If you feel your time and talents are being wasted: If you feel that you are not making good use of your talents or if you feel like you are wasting your time doing what you are doing, then it may be the time for you to change your career.

That feeling that you are doing less when you are supposed to be doing more can make dissatisfied and even hate your job. Once this feeling starts coming up consistently, then it may be a signal that you need to change your job.

After taking a look at the possible situations that will help you know when you should change your career, you will also have to consider how ready you are to make that career change. This will help you determine if the career change is right for you.

A lot of factors are involved in making a career change. To successfully change your career, you will have to make sure that a lot of things are in place before you can seal the deal about making a career change. You may have to ask yourself these questions:

• How long will it take me to learn the new profession?

• Am I ready to start from the beginner’s level in my new career?

• Is there any growth possibility in this new profession?

• How well does my personality fit into my career?

• How flexible will it be taking up a new career?

• How well can I survive with the transition?

These are the questions you will need to ask yourself to determine how much you are ready to give up to change your career.

3. What are my Alternative Career Options?

The main reason why you are changing a career is to derive satisfaction and ultimately move forward in your career. Before you think of changing your career, you should take the time to find out what you want to achieve in your career years to come.

If you are thinking of making a career change, then you should consider going for a career that will help you achieve your career goal and interest. When you have finally decided to change your career, then you should consider other career options that will help you find fulfillment in what you do.

I know that the big question now will be how will I know the career options I should consider?

I can’t tell categorically tell you what career options you should consider, but there are some factors you will likely consider to know what kind of alternative career you should go for. Your options can be broad or slim depending on your skills/abilities or experience. People that are vast may have a wide option when it comes to a career change, but people that are more streamlined to what they do may have a slimmer chance.

The tips can help you determine your career options:

• Examine your skill set

• Take a list of your interest and abilities

• Examine your experience in the different field aside from the one that you are doing now

• Make a list of occupations you want to explore

• Do in-depth research on the career options that you have chosen (find out what you need to excel in this job field)

• Identify the goals you want to achieve and how they fit into the new career

• You can consider talking to a mentor

Changing your career is far more than changing your job role or merely changing your job environment. If you are thinking of changing your job, then be sure you are doing it for the right reason. Even if you are changing your job for the right reasons, then you will need to research more about the job field and be sure it will worth the change.

If you are about to change your career, then these 3 factors will help keep you on the right track while you are trying to take the next step in your career.

Ogugua Belonwu is the founder of MyJobMag, a leading publisher of the latest jobs in Nigeria platform. You can find him here on twitter @ogzille

1 thought on “3 Important Things to Consider When Making a Career Change”

  1. The post is very informative and helpful. We really need to consider those 3 things when making a career change. We must not hesitate or rush on things we are not sure. We must think of what will be the outcome when making a decision.

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