Making The Decision To Change Careers

Are you rethinking your original career choice? Many of us suffer “buyer’s remorse” at some time in our careers. We may have chosen a career for the right reasons – interest, values, passion – but then find that the reality of the career is not a good fit any longer.

The first step in considering a change is to ask WHY your career is no longer working for you. Do you simply need to make a job change or do you clearly need/want to change careers?

If you are contemplating a career change it is important to reassess your values, finances, lifestyle needs, and interests before you make any changes. A career coach would ask you the following questions on your initial session to learn about transitioning into another career:

 1.  Are you willing/able to take a salary cut? For how long?
 2.  Are you willing/able to get further education?
 3.  Are you willing/able to relocate?
 4.  Do you have loans that you are trying to pay off?
 5.  On a scale of 1-10, how badly do you want to make a career change?
 6.  Are you willing/able to stay in your current job while you begin your career transition?
 7.  Do you need benefits?

All of these questions will help you to define what type of change makes sense for your lifestyle. A single person with no loans and a willingness to relocate is in a different position than someone with a spouse, children, and student loans. Neither of these situations precludes a career change but they do affect the action plan that makes the most sense.

Remember, the last thing that you want to do is to jump into another career that does not turn out to be a good fit for you. Once you know what type of concessions you are willing and able to make for a career change it is important to reassess your interests and how you want to spend your work day.
The following are suggestions to explore what will help you to begin to find your next career:

 1. Create a list of all of the jobs that you have had and note what you did and did not like about each job.
 2.  Take skills, interests, and values assessments to help to narrow down the aspects of a job that are important to you
 3.  Detail your ideal day at work…. Where would you be working? Who would you be working with? What type of tasks would you perform? How would your day unfold?
 4.  List your transferable skills.
 5.  Brainstorm your options.
 6.  Ask where you see yourself in 5 years – where are you, what are you doing?

The best advice is to take your time, reassess what you want out of your life, reassess what you want out of a career, understand what you value – then begin to make your moves!

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