Changing careers is a daunting prospect, but it is neither impossible nor uncommon. On average, in fact, people will change jobs as many as 12 times. Many people attend college at a young age and realize later that they did not truly know what they wanted. Others enter a field, gain experience and then realize that their skills are better suited to another kind of position. No matter what has motivated you to consider changing careers, there are a few things you should keep in mind that can make the transition smoother in your new professional role.
You should take into account the following three criteria as you consider what new career path will be right for you. Many factors determine a person’s individual satisfaction with their work, and you can ensure that you are satisfied with yours by making an informed and careful decision about the kind of career you want.
You should first consider how much effort it will take to transition from your current career into a new role. If you have a Bachelor’s degree and the position you are aiming for typically requires a Master’s, for example, it may be worth questioning whether you can take time away from work to gain these additional qualifications. Of course, you can rely on your transferable skills when you are looking to transition careers, but this may not be sufficient for supporting your pursuit of an entirely new career path. Be realistic about the jobs you are qualified to perform.
Location, Location, Location
Qualifications are not the only factor that determines how likely you are to get a job in a new field. You should remember, too, that the job market varies greatly based on where you live and what industries dominate that area. There are plenty of data scientist jobs in New York, for example, but if you are living in a town in Montana, looking for high-paying data scientist gigs may not be a very fruitful career move. Still, if you are committed to your new career prospects, you may want to move to pursue data scientist jobs in New York.
A career change is a good time to consider what you are ultimately seeking to get out of your career. What makes you feel fulfilled? What skills do you want to use? Where do you see yourself in ten years? These are the kinds of questions that should be driving your decision and helping you carefully pursue the path that is right for you. You will not want to make a major change in your career again, so getting it right this time is essential. Take the opportunity to be introspective and honest with yourself about your long-term goals.
Changing careers can be a great move for anybody seeking to develop new skills and apply the ones they have more effectively. There are limitless potential directions to steer your career path, so there is no reason to stay in a job that is unfulfilling. Consider these criteria instead as you prepare to change careers