In some circumstances, changing your career is the right thing to do. But sometimes people walk away from a whole industry where they have years of experience and contacts, without exploring all the options before leaving. Changing your career is an enormous life change so make sure you do your due diligence before you make the leap. To help let’s look at the five biggest mistakes career changers make...
Letting money be your only driver.
Perhaps you feel your earning potential has stagnated in your current industry. You feel tempted to take your transferable skills, get the hell out and swap to a new sector with shiny new prospects. Yes, you may be happier for a short time earning more money but if the career change doesn’t fit then that will soon fade. The point is don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If it's really only about the money that is not enough of a reason to ditch your career for a new one.
Moving to get away from a bad boss.
Having a bad relationship with your boss can have a serious impact on your wellbeing at work which can lead you to question if you are in the right career. But don’t let one bad apple in the bunch drive you to make a decision you might regret. By all means, if the situation is not bearable enough to simply wait it out or build bridges, look for a new role or internal transfer. Do remember though, that one boss does not a whole company or sector make. You might hate your current circumstances so much you think you need a career change. However, by taking steps to try and remedy your situation first you may find it’s a step you don’t need to take.
Making the decision under stressful conditions.
Don’t change careers just to run away from something. If you are close to burn-out you’re likely fantasizing about a whole new life with the perfect job. But new careers are not all unicorns and rainbows. It's possible that your stress will just follow you especially when you are learning a new role in a completely different area. So before you throw in the towel take some vacation days to get some distance. Begin to work out what you need to do to improve or change things before making any rash decisions.
Not digging deep enough before leaving.
Some career changers jump into their new roles without fully understanding what they are getting into. Equally, before they leave their old role they are not totally cognizant of the exact reasons why they want to move. To help clarify this, even the simple step of writing down all the issues with your job at this current moment will help. Getting it down on paper will help you identify if the problem is with your job, your company or your sector.
Changing career because you are bored.
Boredom on the job is real. According to researchconducted by Robert Half, employees surveyed were bored for 10.5 hours a week on average. At first, you might appreciate a bit of downtime but quickly it can become debilitating and you begin to wonder if this is really the right industry for you. But wait. It is possible to change seats without leaving the table. A useful starting point is identifying the parts of your current role you do like. This will help you decide what you want to focus on when you look for your next position, and in the meantime by putting time and energy into developing yourself and your role, you may find it is possible to thrive again.
Clearly there’s a lot to think about if you want to change the career. The common message though is to TAKE YOUR TIME so you can be confident that your desire to change career comes from the right place.
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