Change is inevitable and when it comes to careers, it’s likely you’ll shift industries about five times during your working life. But before you take the almighty leap into a new industry of opportunity, consider how you will make the transition and what you’ve already learned.
Here are five mistakes to avoid when making a career change.
If you’re considering a new career, then chances are your old one leaves you frustrated and uninspired, but before you storm into the boss’ office shouting the irreversible words of “see you later, suckers”, don’t forget this job has provided you with skills and potential references that you will need in your new career.
That means doing the right thing like giving sufficient notice and leaving on good terms, or completing the project you signed up for in the first place. The world is small and leaving on bad terms, regardless of the industry, may come back to haunt you.
So there’s parts about your current job that see you seeking greener pastures, but don’t make the mistake of thinking all things are rosy on the other side. Do some research about the career you are considering and what’s involved on a day-to-day basis. Maybe consider work experience or talking to people involved in that sector to learn more before you take the leap.
You may also need to get some additional training and skills under your belt, so plan for your move and do this while in your current position to avoid enduring a period of unemployment.
Jumping too soon
While employers expect to see some mobility in a young workforce, regularly changing jobs after a short period is likely to raise eyebrows about your ability to commit. Give your current employment a fair go, and, if required, stick with it just a little bit longer in the knowledge this reflects well in terms of commitment, skills and work ethic.
Don’t forget there are skills that translate across sectors like customer service and problem solving, so you will stand in better stead if you have taken the time to master these before you make a shift.
Make no mistake, that’s not to say you should feel hemmed into a job that fails to fire your passion, just remember careers are a journey and your current job can be a valuable part of that.
Failing to examine the possibilities
An important question to ask yourself is whether it’s the career that doesn’t suit or just this job within it? In other words don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Look around within your industry to see if there is a role that suits you better elsewhere that will utilise the skills you have already gained in a manner more suited to your aspirations. Many a CEO has started at the bottom to learn the basics and enjoy a valuable and rewarding career along the way.
Changing for someone else
It’s your life and you deserve to have a job that inspires and fulfils you in a manner suited to your individual personality.
While your team of life advisors may have sage advice as to jobs they feel may serve you well, at the end of the day you will be the one rocking up to that position on a regular basis. So seek jobs and industries that inspire and challenge you, acknowledging the advice of others, but not changing careers just for someone else.
What we do
If you’re considering changing careers, the Father James Grant Foundation offers work experience and training programs to furnish you with the information, skills and confidence you need to enter a new industry. You can learn more about our acclaimed programs here.