Sometimes it’s not sufficient just to change your job. You may have lost faith in your industry or interest in the type of work you’re doing, and changing careers seems like it might be a better step. However, picking a new career can be incredibly difficult. If you’re evaluating a career change, keep the following questions in mind to make sure that you’re making an informed decision:
– Will you find your new career to be engaging? Changing careers to chase a higher paycheck probably won’t lead to happiness. Ask yourself whether your new career will be in line with your values and provide you with challenges and opportunities for advancement. If you’re no longer excited to go to work, and you’ve found a new career opportunity that fascinates you, it may be time to make a change.
– Are you dissatisfied with your career or with your workplace? Many people who are considering a career change are actually just frustrated with the particulars of their jobs. If your primary complaints are that you’re underpaid, your talents aren’t valued, or that your workplace is toxic, you may be happier looking for a job at a different company rather than changing careers.
– Are you looking at a particular career path, or are you shooting for the moon? Realistically, changing careers may mean starting over in terms of your career path. If you decide that you want to go into human resources because your friend has a great job as a recruiter at a Fortune 500 company, realize that you’ll need to spend years developing the skills and experience before you can land a similar position. Make sure that you’ll enjoy your intermediate jobs, as well as your dream job, or you may end up dissatisfied.
– How will changing careers affect your life outside of work? Many people have powerful outside influences on their careers. Before you jump into making a change, think hard about whether doing so will negatively impact your life when you’re not working. Knowing whether you’ll be able to move to pursue a new opportunity, for instance, is essential.