Staying at a job you are tired of is torture. It’s like being forced to watch the worst show on TV on repeat—you can never enjoy it. But we often find ourselves staying at jobs we no longer love because we are scared. Leaving a career path comes with uncertainties and a lot of what-ifs. New things, in general, are terrifying, but when it comes to career, it’s 10x worse.
Why do people change careers?
A joblist midlife career crisis survey shows the top 5 reasons why people change careers, and they are:
- Better Pay: 47%
- Too Stressful: 39%
- Better Work-Life Balance: 37%
- Wanted a New Challenge: 25%
- No Longer Passionate About Field: 23%
People change careers for different reasons. First, ask yourself, “ why do I want to change my career path?” Your answer will vary from someone else, but it all boils down to wanting something better for yourself.
How often can I switch careers?
According to Careers statistics, you are more likely to change your career path about 5-7 times. The truth is, you can switch careers as much as you want, but do you have the courage to do so. Yes, It can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Imoh Umoren, a notable filmmaker in Nigeria, said in a tweet:
How to go about changing your career path
These steps will make you grounded and prepare you 100% when you decide to switch career paths.
Check your Ego?
First, changing your career path means you have to start your journey from the beginning. That can be difficult, especially when you’ve spent a considerable number of years somewhere else. To make this transition successfully, you have to put all your past achievement behind you. Your willingness to learn will go a long way in determining if you do well in your new path or not.
Ask yourself why?
It is essential to know why you wish to change your career path. You need to understand what is championing this need for change. Are you bored at your job? Is the pay terrible? Or Is your workplace too far from home? This exercise will enable you to see if you just need a new job rather than a career switch. Sometimes all you need is a job switch. If after doing this you still decide to switch careers, go ahead with your plan.
What are you interested in?
It’s time for another self-reflection. If you are going to change careers, it has to be something you love. If you are like most people with varying interest, you have to pick the one that meets the criteria for switching careers. If it is for better pay, you have to choose the most beneficial interest. And if it is to have a better work-life balance, you have to go with the option that allows that. By matching your interest with your pain point, you ensure you pick the career that suits your current need.
Research research research
Now that you’ve decided what career you want to chase, it’s time to do your research. Learn all you can about the new industry you want to enter. During your research, you will determine if you need specific certifications to get the job, the skills to develop, and industry top players. Research helps you prepare for the change you are about to experience, so nothing catches you by surprise (some things will).
Start making those calls.
I know you’ve heard the word networking more times than you probably like, but here it is again. You have to network with people in the new field you want to explore. Your contact list, group, and friends are probably people in the industry you plan to leave. They will not serve as significant assets in your new job. It’s time to go for industry events. These events will keep you in the know of industry trends and provide you with the opportunity to network. Make sure to talk less and listen more.
Apply for Jobs
As much as you want it to happen, jobs will not come knocking on your door. You’ll have to look for vacancies, apply, wait for an interview and all of that. Know that since you lack the necessary experience to occupy senior-level roles, you might start at an entry-level or junior position, depending on the industry.
Don’t expect to land the first job you apply for; know that switching careers might take time. So, while you are looking to change careers, you can remain at your place of work for a little while. But if you are so miserable, make sure you have emergency savings to last you about six months before you quit your job.
Dedicate yourself to the act of continuous learning. You are probably in an industry you are not too familiar with; if you are reluctant to learn, there will be no progress for you. Take online classes, attend seminars, and find a mentor in that field. If you are devoted, you will gain optimal results and have an accelerated career journey.
Changing careers is doable; with time, dedication and proper learning, you will find the transition smooth and worthwhile. To get new career opportunities in various fields, subscribe to our newsletter here.