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Changing Careers: How to Change Careers Successfully

woman changing careers

Are you unhappy with your current job and thinking about making a change? Or maybe you’ve just graduated from college and aren’t sure what you want to do next professionally. In either case, you may be wondering about changing careers.

Making a career change can be daunting and exciting, but don’t worry – GetEducated.com is here to help! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about making a successful career change. We will discuss the different steps involved in the process and the various factors you need to consider.

This in-depth guide will also highlight the pros and cons of changing careers. By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to decide whether or not changing careers is right for you. Let’s get started!

Career Change Overview

A career change is a significant shift in the type of work you pursue and enjoy. It can also involve changing industries or moving to a different company.

For example, let’s say you’re currently working as a marketing manager at a small tech startup. You may be considering a career change to become an account manager at a large tech company. Or, perhaps you’re a stay-at-home parent looking to return to the workforce after several years. You may be considering a career change to increase your family earnings or seek something new and interesting.

Whatever your situation may be, it’s essential to understand that making a career change can be complex. There are a few things you should consider before making the switch. These include:

  • Your current skills and experience
  • The type of work you’re interested in
  • The industry you want to work in
  • Your salary goals and long-term or short-term objectives

Pros and Cons of Changing Careers

Here are some of the pros and cons of changing careers:

Benefits of Changing Careers

  • A Chance to Advance

One of the main reasons people choose to switch careers is for the opportunity to progress. Whether you’re looking for a promotion or want to move up within your field, changing jobs may be the best way to achieve your goals.

  • Opportunity to Increase Your Income

The second benefit of changing careers is the opportunity to increase your income. If you’re unhappy with your current salary, a change of employment could be the answer.

Of course, salary isn’t the only factor to consider when changing careers. But it’s important to remember that a higher salary can significantly impact your lifestyle and overall financial well-being. If you’re considering a career change, be sure to research salaries in your target profession to know what to expect.

  • Reduces Stress

One of the leading reasons people choose to change careers is because they’re unhappy with their current job. It can cause more harm than good to your mental and physical well-being if you’re constantly stressed out. Making a career change could help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall success.

  • Change of Scenery Encourages Exploration

Another pro to changing careers is the change of scenery. If you move to a new city or state, this can be literal for your new job. Or figuratively, if your new company has a different culture from your old one. Either way, this change can encourage exploration and help you find your passion. If you’re stagnant in your current career, a change of scenery might be just what you need to jumpstart your motivation. It can be scary to leave your comfort zone, but sometimes it’s necessary to grow.

  • Improved Quality of Life

Last but not least, changing careers can improve your quality of life. If you’re unhappy with your current job, a new career might provide you with satisfaction and balance. It’s crucial to find a career that aligns with your values and helps you lead the life you want to live.

Disadvantages of Changing Careers

With the benefits of changing careers comes the potential for some drawbacks. Here are a few drawbacks to consider before making the switch:

  • Starting at the bottom

If you’re changing careers, you may have to take a pay cut or start at an entry-level position. It’s discouraging, but remember that it’s not always about the money. A career change can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.

  • Additional training or education

Depending on your newly chosen profession, you may need to go back to school or get additional training. Taking this step can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is worth it when you are successful and pursuing your passion.

  • No guarantee of success

Making a career change is a big decision, and there’s no guarantee it will work out the way you hope. There’s always a risk involved, but it’s worth leaping if you’re confident in your choice.

  • The new job could be worse

Lastly, it’s important to remember that, if unresearched, choosing the wrong career path could be worse than your current job. If you’re unhappy in your current career, changing careers is a way to improve your situation. Still, there’s no guarantee that your new career will be perfect. There are always risks involved, but sometimes it’s worth taking them. If you’re considering a career change, weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s the right choice.

What You Need to Consider Before Changing Careers

Here are a few things you should think about before changing careers:

1. Your current skills and experience

First, think about the skills and experience you have in your current career. These can be transferable to a new profession, making the transition easier.

2. The type of work you’re interested in

Next, consider the type of work that interests you. Do your research to find a career that piques your interest and matches your skillset.

It’s crucial to find a vocation that stimulates you. Otherwise, you’ll likely be unhappy in your new job, too. Do some soul-searching to figure out how your personal goals and interests can lead to a better occupation.

3. The industry you want to work in

Third, think about your ideal industry. Do you want to stay in the same sector or switch to something new?

Each industry has its own culture and working environment. Some people thrive in fast-paced environments, while others prefer a more relaxed setting. Maybe you’ve been working in an office and choose to become remote, or vice versa. Consider your personality and your best work environments.

4. Goals and objectives

Finally, consider your goals and objectives. What do you hope to achieve by changing careers? Consider the long-term implications of a career change. Are you looking for more money, satisfaction, or something else entirely?

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you will have a stronger foundation to make a decision.

How to Change Careers Step-by-Step Guide

Deciding to change careers is an important choice. But once you’ve decided that it’s time for a change, how do you make it happen? Follow these steps to changing careers:

Step One: Assess Your Current Position

Assessing your current position is the first step you should take before changing careers. It would help if you were honest with yourself about your current situation. Are you happy with your job? Do you feel fulfilled? If not, why? Some topics to consider might be:

  • Your current company’s management style
  • How many hours do you spend working?
  • The amount of overhead versus the amount of work completed.

Don’t be afraid to explore your options. There are incredible resources that can help you figure out what you want to do next. Consider talking to a career counselor if you’re unsure where to start. They can help you assess your skills and interests and figure out what type of work would be a good fit for you.

Once you have a better idea of what you want to do, it’s time to research your options. There are many ways to get the education you need for a new career. You may find online programs that offer evening or weekend classes to continue working while earning your degree.

Step Two: Assess Your Skills and Specialty

Before shifting gears into a new career, it’s important to inventory your skills and what you enjoy doing. Consider what you’re good at—not just in terms of job-related skills but also in terms of personal strengths and traits. Are you a people person? Do you like working with your hands, or are you an at-your-desk person? Do you have a knack for problem-solving?

Think about your ideal work. What are the day-to-day tasks, the people you worked with, or something else entirely? Once you have a good understanding of your skills and interests, you can start to research potential new career paths that might be a good fit.

There are a few different ways to go about this research. You can start by reading articles and books on the subject or talking to people already working in your field of interest. Suppose you know anyone who has made a similar career change. In that case, they can be beneficial in providing advice and insight into the process.

Step Three: Consider Your Career Goals

Before you invest time and money into pursuing a new career, it’s essential to sit down and consider what you want to achieve. What are your long-term career goals? What kind of work do you see yourself doing in five or ten years? This list could look similar to:

  • Make a salary of $60,000 a year
  • Vacation days or paid time off options
  • Preference to work in a team setting than on individual projects
  • Need guidance from management to make progress and be validated

It can be helpful to create a list of pros and cons to help you narrow down your options and make a decision.

Step Four: Research About the Potential Career

After clarifying your career goals, it is time to do some in-depth research about potential employment. Learning about the duties, skills, education requirements, and work environment of the new career can help you decide whether it is the right fit.

Moreover, research can help you develop a plan to make the transition. For instance, you may need to complete additional education or training to qualify for the new career.

Websites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, and Indeed.com offer detailed information about most occupations and salaries. You can also search for articles and blog posts about similar career changes.

Step Five: Network

Another great way to learn about a potential new career is to speak with someone already working in that field. If you know someone who can act as a mentor, that’s even better. Mentors can offer advice and guidance based on their own experiences. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, or even set up informational interviews. The more you know about a potential new career, the better equipped you will be to make a successful transition.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get advice from those already working in the field. They can offer valuable insights that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

By networking, you’ll also be able to make essential connections that can help you in your job search. So even if you don’t end up changing careers, you may still find some valuable networking contacts.

Step Six: Create an Actionable Plan

Once you’ve gathered details on the profession you want to pursue, you’ll need to execute an actionable plan. Actionable planning helps make transitions smoother and increases your chances of success.

Your first step is to research the industry you want to enter. Find out as much as possible about the day-to-day work, required skills, and everyday challenges.

It’s equally essential to learn more about the educational requirements of the new field. For example, if you’re looking to enter the medical, counseling, or law fields, you’ll need specific certifications and licenses.

Once you have a solid understanding of what’s required, you can start taking steps to make the transition. Of course, changing careers is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. But if you do your homework and create a solid plan, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career change.

Step Seven: Rebrand Yourself and Update Your Resume

It may seem that starting new means starting from scratch. However, it might only take some rebranding, a refreshed resume, and a better social media presence. If you’re starting fresh in your job search, create a professional email address and LinkedIn profile.

Then, update your resume to reflect your current goals and skills. If you’ve been working for a while, consider creating a unique resume specifically for your job search. You can tailor your experience and skills to new job applications.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to sell yourself. When making a career change, you have to convince employers that you’re the right person for the job—even if you don’t have all the desired experience. Highlight your transferable skills, relevant accomplishments, and other experiences that make you qualified for the job. Consider working with a professional resume writer if you need help creating a solid resume. They can help you craft a document that will get you noticed by employers.

By taking the time to rebrand yourself, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job. You can transition from your current career to what you’ve always wanted with a bit of effort.

Step Eight: Track Your Progress and Stay Hungry

With everything set, it is time to track your progress. Make sure you are making the most of your days and weeks. Set goals for yourself and review them often. Are you taking steps towards these goals? If not, what’s holding you back?

It can be easy to get comfortable even in your new career. But once you start to feel comfortable, it is time to set new goals and strive for more. Remember why you decided to make a change in the first place. Use that motivation to push yourself further in your new job.

Making a change isn’t necessarily easy. But with the right mindset and approach, it can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.

Choosing the Right Career for You

You may be thinking, “What career is right for me?” That’s a great question! And the answer is that it depends. It depends on what you’re looking for in a career, your skills, and what works for you daily.

There are a few different ways that you can go about finding the right career for you. You can start by taking a career assessment test. These tests can give you an idea of what careers might be a good fit for you based on your personality type and interests.

You can also look into different fields of interest, like salary prospects or pure curiosity. See what education and experience are required to enter those fields.

If you’re not quite sure what you want to do, that’s okay! Many people don’t have their dream job figured out right away. And to help you better understand your options, it’s crucial to consider internal and external factors that will affect your career decision.

Internal Factors to Consider

When looking at different career options, it’s essential to consider your internal factors. These are the things that are unique to you and will impact your decision.

Some of the internal factors that you should consider are your:

  • Skillset
  • Interests
  • Work style
  • Values
  • Personality
  • Goals

External Factors to Consider

There are also external factors that you should consider when looking at different careers. These are the things out of your control and will impact your decision.

Some of the external factors that you should consider:

  • The job market in your area
  • The cost of living in your area
  • Your family situation
  • Insurance needs
  • The economy

Once you’ve considered all internal and external factors, it’s time to move forward! The best way to do this is to sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each option. Make a list of the most important things to you in a career and see how each option stacks up.

Why People Change Careers

People change careers for several reasons. Some of the most common ones are:

  • They’re in a career that isn’t fulfilling: This is probably the most common reason people seek a change. If your work does not fulfill you, it can be tough to stay motivated day in and day out.
  • They want to make more money: Earning potential is often a significant factor when people are considering a career change.
  • Looking for better work/life balance: A demanding job can take a toll on your personal life. If you’re looking for more time with family or pursuing hobbies, a career change might be necessary.
  • They want to learn new things: If you’re the type of person who likes to keep your mind active, a career change can be a great way to learn new things and challenge yourself.
  • They’re relocating: Sometimes, a career change is necessary because of a move. If you’re moving to a new city or state, starting fresh in a new field might make sense.
  • Change industries: If you’re looking to make a significant change, such as switching from marketing to healthcare, a career change can help you achieve that goal.
  • They are bored with their current career: If you’re tired of doing the same thing day in and day out, a career change might be what you need.

As you can see, there are various reasons why people seek a career change. But according to a FlexJobs survey, the top three reasons people change careers are:

  1. They’re looking for more meaning in their work (49%)
  2. They want a better work/life balance (56%)
  3. They want higher pay (50%)

No matter your reason for changing careers, it’s essential to do your research.

When to Consider a Career Change

The circumstances that usually cause someone to seek new employment are unfavorable, like poor working conditions, limited opportunity for advancement, or unhappiness with their current position. One of the most common is being laid off or downsized from your current job. If you’ve been with a company for several years and suddenly find yourself without a job, it can be the perfect time to explore new options.

On the other hand, there are several positive reasons to consider a career change. People may choose a new career path or pursue a different job title because they know they can earn more money. For example, a person in retail sales moving into a management job. Another good reason for a career change is excitement. Perhaps you realize a trade or hobby you’ve long enjoyed can bring in a more sizable income than you imagined, and suddenly, you’re an entrepreneur.

Other reasons include:

Burned Out Physically or Emotionally

Are you exhausted at the end of every workday? Do you dread going to your job? If you answered yes, it’s time to consider a new career. Working in a high-stress job with long hours can take a toll on your physical and emotional health.

You’re Not Productive

If you find yourself daydreaming or doing anything to avoid work, you may be in the wrong career. We all have days (or even weeks) that are not as productive as possible. But if this is a chronic problem, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your current situation.

Lack of Challenge

Leaving a job where you’re comfortable might be controversial for some, but if you find your job isn’t challenging you anymore, it may be a sign you need to move on. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should look for a new job every time you master your current role. But if you’re not being challenged and are starting to feel bored, it may be time to explore other options. If changing careers isn’t a possibility right now, you can at least ask leaders in your current job for more stimulating work.

Limited Creativity

Limited creativity is a bit different from not being challenged. It can be frustrating if your role doesn’t allow you to be creative. And over time, this lack of creativity can lead to burnout. If you feel like you cannot express your creativity at work, it may be time for a change.

You’re Only Staying for the Money

As you’ve seen above, many people are changing careers to find better work/life balance. But if you’re only staying in your current job for the money, it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. Money is essential, but it shouldn’t be the only factor determining your career choice. If you’re unhappy with your job and are only staying for the paycheck, it may be time to make a change.

Declining Occupations

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, certain occupations are in decline. If you want a long-lasting new career, you have to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for changes in your industry. If you’re in a declining occupation, it may be time to explore other options.

No Opportunity to Advance

While not every individual wants to move up the corporate ladder, most people do want to have the opportunity to advance in their careers. If you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no opportunity for advancement, it may be time to start looking for other options.

Effectively Changing Careers in Mid-Life Years

You are not alone if you’re in your mid-life years and considering a career change. Many people find themselves at a point where they want to make a change but feel stuck or unsure of how to proceed.

The good news is that it is possible to find new vocations effectively. With careful planning and execution, you can make a successful transition to the career of your dreams.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while considering a mid-life career change:

  • First, do not be afraid to start over – It’s never too late to learn something new or pursue a different path. If you’re not happy with where you are, make a change.
  • Think carefully about what you want to do – What are your interests and passions? What skills do you have? Taking the time to figure out what you want to do will help you make a more successful career transition.
  • Create a plan – Once you know what you want to do, develop an action plan. Your plan may include going back to school, taking on new assignments at work, or networking with people in your desired field.
  • Be prepared for bumps in the road – Changing careers can be challenging, and there will likely be some setbacks. Don’t let these discourage you from reaching your goals.
  • Use your experience to your advantage – If you are a nontraditional new employee, you likely have a wealth of knowledge. Use this to your advantage when pursuing a new career.

With careful planning and execution, you can make a successful career change at any age. If you’re not happy with where you are, don’t be afraid to start over. Pursue your passions and develop a plan of action, and you’ll be on your way to a new and rewarding career.

How to Change Careers with an Online Degree

There’s no doubt education is at the forefront of any career change. But what if you don’t have the time or money to go back to school? Enter online education. Online degrees, diplomas, and certificates offer a flexible and affordable way to get the education you need to change careers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when pursuing an online program:

  • Make sure the program is accredited; it’s essential for both online and traditional programs. But it’s vital for online degrees, as not all programs are accredited.
  • Choose a program that fits your needs. There are many different types of online degrees available. Make sure you choose a program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need for your desired career.
  • Create a schedule that works for you. One of the benefits of online education is creating a plan that fits your needs. Make sure you can balance your work, life, and school commitments.
  • Be prepared to put in the work independently. Online degrees require just as much effort as traditional degrees. You’ll need to be self-motivated and dedicated to succeed.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many resources available to online students. Reach out to professors, faculty, other students, or college career services if you need assistance.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to changing careers with an online degree.

Take the Next Step

To sum it up, education is a critical component of changing careers later in life. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Online education offers a flexible and affordable way to get the education you need to change careers. Just make sure you choose an accredited program that fits your needs, that you can create a schedule that works for you, and be prepared to put in the work.

Get Educated the right way! We offer reviews of the best online colleges and universities for adult learners seeking degree programs that fit their busy lifestyles.

College rankings make finding an online degree program more accessible than ever. GetEducated.com is here to help you get started if you’re ready to make a change.

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