A career change, or even just changing jobs, is one of the biggest decisions any worker will face. Jumping too quickly into a new career or a new job can result in disappointment and failure so it is important to prepare well and be ready for the challenges that you may face as you begin this transition. Before you make that big jump, think through some common mistakes that people make when changing careers and do your best to avoid them to ensure your success in your career change.
- Making a major career change simply because you hate your job. It’s very difficult to be in a position of disliking your work, but a major career change needs to be based on mature decision making. You need to understand your real reasons for being unhappy in your work. Is it the specific job (the tasks you have to do each day), the work environment (your boss, your co-employees, the culture of the workplace) or is it the career path you have chosen (your corporate role, the skills) that you hate?
- Making a career change based on money alone. Of course everyone wants to work in a lucrative job, a job that pays very well. However money is just an aspect of an ideal career and not all high-paying jobs can be rewarding. Money alone does not equate to happiness. Working in a field where you find fulfilment may not give you the same financial rewards, but it may make your work far more enjoyable. That decision comes down to your personal values.
- Changing careers without self assessment. A career evaluation is very important for someone who’s planning to make a major career change. First of all, assess your skills, interests and values. Identify the things that you want to do in the next few years. Don’t forget to also identify the activities you hate doing. Make a list of your career achievements. By doing all of these, you can understand yourself better and discover the best career route to take.
- Making a big career change without consulting a professional career counselor or career coach. Decisions are best made when each part of your thought process is scrutinized so you don’t make decisions based on impressions, false notions or other misleading ideas. A qualified and experienced career counselor or career coach is trained to assist you through this transition period by providing professional guidance. He or she will help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and will help you develop skills and strategies which are necessary to succeed in your new career.