Giving up your current career path to embrace something else is sometimes seen as a mistake, especially once you have a few years of work experience under your belt.
It’s often difficult to crack into a new industry, and while it’s expected that those leaving school or university are approaching employers with little relevant experience, it is actually frowned upon by some to decide further down the road that you’d rather be doing something else.
This probably comes from the idea that someone who has always known what they want to do for a living will be more dedicated to the job. And while some employers will hesitate to give a job offer, or even an interview, to someone who appears indecisive as to where they want to work.
There are many very good reasons to change career however. Maybe you feel you’ve gone as far as you can go in your current career path. Perhaps your industry is in decline – or, alternatively, you want to switch to doing something where many more jobs are suddenly available.
Or perhaps you actually are a little indecisive. That’s fine too – decent employers will understand that it’s much more important for you to do what makes sense to you and what makes you happy, rather than stick with your first choice of career long after you’ve lost interest in it.
And it’s not even all that uncommon to change career – many people do it once or twice in the course of their working life.
Changing career is always a big decision however, and it pays to be sure that it’s the right course of action before committing to it. That’s not to say it’s to be discouraged, but it’s a good idea to make sure you really have exhausted all opportunities on your current path.
For example, if you’re suffering from a bad boss, you could probably solve that problem by simply moving to another company. You could even start your own. Or if you want better pay and more responsibilities, ask your manager how you can work towards a promotion.
If your reasons for thinking about moving on are more along the lines that you entered your current industry for the pay cheque, and now want to do something you’re really passionate about – that’s a sign that you’re ready to switch paths.
The good news is that the transition might not be too jarring at all, especially if many of your skills will be easily transferable. Let’s say you work as an accountant for a construction company: it won’t be that hard for you oversee the finances for a clothing company instead. But you may come up against some resistance if you suddenly want to move into pharmacology or urban planning.tutorial android
If the change is as dramatic as that, you’ll need to look carefully into each role’s outline of skills and duties and work out how your experience elsewhere prepares you for the work. You should also be able to clearly articulate your reasons for wanting a change of scene, should you be quizzed on this at interview.
What’s more, although you may be able to walk into a mid-level position, you should also be prepared to accept a more entry-level position, which may carry with it a significant step down in salary from what you’re used to. The good news though is that your ‘soft skills’ developed from years in the workplace may help you in negotiating a better salary or more responsibilities than those outlined in a role designed for twenty-somethings just entering the world of work.
Finally, when you do decide to change your career, be sure to do your research. There will no doubt be plenty of basic information about your field that you’re not even aware of until you start doing some serious reading. It’s best if you can avoid the position of having people report to you who know more about how your industry works than you do.
Making a major life decision like this can be scary, but it really is one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re doing what you love, and what you’re good at. Don’t spend the rest of your working life wondering what could have been – take the leap!