Leaving the security of a stable job can be harrowing. Worries like paying bills and supporting dependents can quickly pile up and ultimately stop you from switching over to a new career that you dreamt of.
With the right information and careful decisions, it is possible to navigate your path to open up a greener pasture of new opportunities and success. Here are a few mistakes that you should avoid during this crucial transition.
Leaving Without a Plan
Dissatisfaction in your current company or career can be a good motivation to move to greener pastures. But jumping ships without thought can cause it to sink rather than sail.
First, make a career change action plan and set aside a budget to sustain you while you switch careers and pay for any school courses or training. Creating a step-by-step action plan with tasks and goals set aside will increase your chances of success.
It is also unwise to quit without a job lined up, as many HR professionals may question gaps in the employment history. The best way to get around is to take freelance assignments or courses for better chances at salary negotiations and benefits.
Before quitting your job, check whether non compete agreements are enforceable, or you may be liable to legal penalties if you join a competitor business or start-up of your own.
Confusing Job Change With Career Change
Your job is your means of living, whereas your career is the resources you spend in your field of work.
Switching industries is a crucial decision and mustn’t be made in haste. You need to address the issues that have prompted you for a career change and assess whether they stem from your company or are common in your line of work. Whether it is the lack of opportunities for job advancements, conflict with coworkers, or losing faith in the company, don’t confuse job change with career change for job satisfaction.
Over Thinking Your Options
As important as planning is, overanalyzing and failing to take action will keep you stagnant. Start by taking up micro-tasks and slowly inch towards your goal. Consult someone through your network who is familiar with your sector of interest.
Rather than setting your goal as changing jobs, divide it into smaller, achievable micro-goals, which effectively lessen the dread. This can include taking a course in your field of interest, undergoing additional training, or volunteering in a similar workspace.
Many doubt that it is late to switch careers. This is detrimental to progress in your career. Utilize your experience in your current job to bolster your candidacy. Your wisdom will be your leverage against younger, inexperienced candidates.
No Financial Plans Before Switching Careers
The biggest mistake you can make is jumping headfirst into your new career option and quitting your current job without a financial plan. The period of economic instability while changing careers can be incredibly taxing, especially if you have additional mouths to feed.
Preparing beforehand will ease the period of transition; here are some tips:
- Save up at least 3-6 months of average living expenses or double the amount in case of dependents.
- Try out part-time jobs like freelancing or passive income by renting out rooms.
- Pay off credit card bills and loans to lessen any debt.
Money Is The Only Motivation
Money should be an incentive to leave or take up a job, since it pays all your bills. However, don’t be blindsided by your salary and perks.
Many lucrative jobs come with setbacks like encouraging highly-competitive work culture and inhumane work hours. To avoid this, you should reassess your priorities and work on personal projects before switching. Subsequently, read reviews and employee approval about the company and inquire about OT culture during the interview.
Jumping headfirst into a new career is never a good idea; you must perform self-evaluation and research beforehand. You need to evaluate whether your skills and interests align with your career of choice.
A SWOT (Strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of your occupation of choice and the current one will help you conclude you are setting yourself up for success.
Change Careers Under Pressure
Frequently family, such as parents and spouse, may encourage you to switch careers in search of better opportunities or higher pay. While they often mean well, remember that you are your ship’s captain.
The final decision should be yours based on your goals, passions, and self-satisfaction. So be sure to research your options and learn to trust your instincts. Remember that you may need to learn new skills and techniques or undergo experience and education to prepare for your career switch.
You may not have any connections or networks in your industry of choice. However, don’t let that cripple you. Many employers hire based on recommendations, no matter how qualified you may be for the job.
Building professional relationships can markedly boost your chances of being hired. Get some legwork done by connecting in networking events, meeting people in your field of choice, and using social media like LinkedIn for a mentor to help you overcome obstacles.
Overlook Career Advancement in New Company
If your reason for leaving your current job is searching for new career advancement, you should research beforehand to avoid being stuck at entry-level positions over the next few years.
Connect with previous employees via GlassDoor and LinkedIn for their experience and upgrade your skill set to fill in any gaps in your CV for the job description.
Expecting Your Employee To Train You
The job sector is vastly different from the education sector. Don’t expect to be handed out homework or trainers to mentor you; they are short-staffed in resources and personnel. It is expected that you already have all the skill sets in the job description.
Additionally, remember to update your resume highlighting skills from your experience that can be applied at the new company. This will give you leverage against other candidates.
Not Considering Long term
A career change may seem exciting and lucrative at first but can soon fall into the same mundane routine that made you quit your previous job. Hence, it is wise to “test” your new career through short-term contracts, volunteering, and visualizing yourself in the next 5 to 10 years to help make a decision.
No matter your skill set, age, or experience, it is never too late to switch over to a career of your choice. Trust your abilities and be confident in your decisions. Once you can take the leap of faith, you are already halfway to your dream job.
While many lucky ones move quickly up the ladder soon in their new workplace, that is not always the case. Despite your effort in building your new career, don’t expect instant success.
Nonetheless, life isn’t a race, and things take time, you may not reach there right away but keep at it, and you may be surprised by the outcome.