Changing career paths is a decision that should never be taken lightly. This is especially true today when jobs are scarce and employment opportunities are limited. The current state of the job market might give a person pause; however, it should not be the only factor taken into consideration when switching careers.
Before taking the plunge into an unpredictable job market, consider the following mistakes that are commonly made when switching careers:
1. Hate Your Job, Change Careers
Switching to a new career is a major move and you should carefully examine why you feel changing career paths is the best answer to your problem. Why are you unhappy with your current job? Is it your current position or the career itself? Disliking your boss, co-workers or office politics should not be confused with being unhappy with your actual job.
2. Not Having a Plan
Changing careers involves a bit more planning than deciding what you will wear to your job interview. Do you have the skills needed for your new job? Do you need additional training to be competitive with other employees in the industry? Is a new job required to meet your long-term career goals? Develop a plan that includes all the steps you will take to make the switch successfully.
3. Money Matters
Whether we like to admit it or not, money is a main motivator when selecting a career. Certain professions are known for paying well, while others pay less. When making the move to a new career, ask yourself if money is the only motivator or if you will truly find satisfaction doing the job. Conversely, if your new job pays on the low end of the scale, crunch some numbers to ensure you will be able to cover all of your financial obligations on the new salary and stay within your budget.
4. Changing for Someone Else
So your mother always wanted to have a doctor in the family. Maybe your spouse doesn’t support you in your current career path. It is always good to take the feelings of loved ones into consideration when making major decisions, but at the end of the day your decision must reflect how you feel. If you allow outside sources to influence your decision and you end up hating your new career, hard feelings are sure to follow.
5. Trying to Do It All On Your Own
Tackling a new career presents unique challenges to the job seeker. The importance of networking cannot be stressed enough for all professions. Seek out and join industry organizations and associations. Find a mentor who can help you make the transition and possible introduce you to important contacts in your field.
6. Following a Trend
You know at least a half dozen friends who have left their day job behind to start a blog or a home business. They have found success and life couldn’t be better. Success stories are specific to each individual and their experience. Your experience might not necessarily mirror those that inspired you to change career paths.
Finding a career that is rewarding both professionally and personally is a job in and of itself. If your current position is not working out and a new career path is on your horizon, move forward with caution to avoid these common pitfalls associated with changing careers.