For many professionals, the lockdowns were an opportunity to re-evaluate their own career goals and aspirations. Plenty of people quit in favor of better jobs; some left the workforce altogether to pursue a business venture. Major career changes are no longer as uncommon as they once were, but it’s still important for people to think carefully about life and work before switching careers. Here are a few factors to consider.
Interests and values
Anyone contemplating a major career change should ask themselves what they’re passionate about, what makes them feel fulfilled, and what they value most in a work environment. Answering these questions can help narrow down career options and find a field that is a good fit. Not everyone may have a dream job, but work that is exciting, fulfilling, and rich in learning and growth opportunities is probably within reach for most people. It’s also a good idea to remember that embarking on a career in an area of interest (such as interior design or content creation) may be an advantage. Previous interest may mean someone already knows a little about the industry and won’t be starting completely from scratch.
Consider the financial implications
A major career change will likely have some financial repercussions. Is it necessary to go back to school to get the necessary training or certification? Will a career transition make it necessary to take a pay cut to secure a job? Professionals must do a deep dive into the career they want and understand the requirements of the role. Even setting up a new business may require an upfront financial investment. List out any financial changes that accompany a potential career change and reflect on their feasibility.
There’s more to think about for someone supporting a family or dependents. They may want to consider getting permanent life insurance such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance. Permanent life insurance provides beneficiaries with a death benefit to ensure they are protected in the event that something happens to the policyholder. A secondary benefit is that as the policy’s cash value grows, the policyholder can borrow against it when they need funds.
Be prepared for change
When switching careers, things may not always go as planned, so it’s important to be flexible and open-minded. Be willing to adapt and learn new things, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. Many young professionals rely on mentors for advice when contemplating big career decisions.
Anyone feeling overwhelmed by the thought of switching careers can also seek professional help from a career counselor or coach. They can help with skill assessments, identify potential career options, and create a plan of action. They can also provide guidance and support throughout the transition.
Create a plan
After deciding on a new career, it’s important to create a plan for the transition into that field. What steps are required? It may begin with getting certified in new software or skills, then looking for a job in the desired field. In between, it may help to build a new professional network to get support and gain insights into the new industry.
It is also important to have realistic expectations when switching careers. Understand that it may take some time to get settled into the new role, and don’t expect things to be perfect from the start. Anyone in a career transition should give themselves time to learn and grow in their new position and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day!