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Switching careers is not something we do every day, and requires quite an effort and time investment. Only because you love your current job doesn’t mean that you’re bound to stay there forever. However said than done, also because you’ll have a daunting task of convincing your family and friends before making a midlife career switch.
According to a survey conducted by University of Phoenix School of Business, it has been concluded that about 59% of working adults are willing to make career switch given the chance. Do note that career change is not the consequence from a single impulse that has come out all of a sudden, for example, burned out from the job, spotting a lucrative opportunity in other field, etc., but a number of considerations are there that combine and force the professional in making the decision of switching.
Ignore the considerations, and you’ll end up in making one or more of the below explained mistakes that each one of us need to be vigilant of before finalizing the decision of career switch.
- Acting in a reckless decision
The foremost thing that needs to be considered is pondering over the reason of switching the current job for a new one. Several experts have stated that professionals need to figure out why they are dissatisfied with their job, and what additional benefits and satisfaction the new opportunity would give them that will convince them to move.
The point is to honestly inquire yourself the reason to be unhappy. Sometime the case is not that severe as we perceive it. It may just be another bad day at your workplace, a heated argument with a bad colleague, or simply, you might be too tired or stressed to take interest in the routine work. Agreeably, you might not like your job, but that doesn’t mean you hate the industry as well.
It’s normal for everyone to go through indefinite phases of unhappiness both in our personal and professional lives. What people fail to understand is that they should be moving towards something, not running away something.
- Selecting a new career for better salary
Obviously, the financial element is one of the X-factors that tempts us in selecting a career in the first place, but selecting a new career just on the basis of a higher monthly package is not a wise decision.
Remember, if your passion, strengths, and preferences don’t lie in the career you’re thinking about, no amount of money can buy you true happiness. The power of big bucks may tempt you to work well in the earlier days, but the excitement is soon going to wear off, provided that your skills, and most importantly, the heart is not into the new job.
The earning factor is rightfully one of the decisive factors that most of us prefer in all the available career options, but consider other options in the equation too, for instance, career scope, work-life balance, etc.
- Not researching the new industry appropriately
Aren’t you sure about the new field you’re about to step into? What professionals should drill into their brains is that researching an industry thoroughly is relevant to see if it matches your skills, interests, and career development plan. If not, you’re just playing the luck game.
Try to study the annual reports based on job projections in different industries as thoroughly as possible. You never know when you might hit a goldmine of discovering a nicely lucrative job that matches your interests and skills as a complete package, previously unknown to you.
- Quitting without an employment backup
Research has proved that it is easier to acquire a new employment while you’re on-job at a workplace, while an unemployment gap will only make the HR personnel suspicious of you compelling him or her to think twice before throwing you a call for an interview.
The drill is to keep applying while you’re employed at your current job till the point you acquire a valid appointment letter from your new workplace.
- Not paying attention to networking
You might have done the best research on your intended career, but it’s no match when it comes to talking to a person actually belonging in that industry. In short, hands-on experience is more powerful that we can think, the related professional will be able to give you important insights that might not be publicly available on the internet.
This is why it is advised to keep growing your professional network as strong and vast as possible.
One of the best ways to enhance your networking is by conducting informational interviews with the professionals associated with the industry you’re intending to go in. However, carefully draft your questions with the purpose of obtaining rich information from them, for example, “what is the future of this industry?”, “which professional associations or trade publications can you suggest?”, etc. Further, try to meet people who are already working in the companies you have shortlisted for yourself.
The concern is not only to gain hidden and detailed insights of the field, but also to build healthy relationships that might recommend you for upcoming job openings or internal referrals in different organizations.
Lara Hawkins is an accomplished corporate trainer related to personnel management and career development and has been providing regular training sessions to industry professionals worldwide. Besides her regular job, Lara also operates AssignmentMode, a top academic service provider helping students in a plethora of disciplines.