Changing your career can either be the best decision you have ever made, or the worst.
It is this uncertainty that holds a lot of people back from moving on in their career, but with careful planning and research you can minimise the risk of leaving a job that you are not totally satisfied with for an even worse job.
Top tips to avoid making a career change mistake
Don’t make a hasty, emotional decision
The worst time to make a life-changing decision is when you are feeling frustrated, stressed or angry. The temptation to quit your job can be so great but a hasty decision can leave you in a worse position. If you are really desperate to leave your job rather get your emotions under control, think about what you want to do and how you can achieve it. Plan your move, don’t rush into it.
Reflection, research and plan
Taking on a new job or career without considering your own needs, wants and interests could result in you landing a job that you really hate. Spend time reflecting on what you really want from your career or job. Think about what is important to you both in your work and personal life, and consider what your interests are. Research different fields and industries, take into consideration all options available to you and then plan your career change properly.
Money isn’t everything
Don’t choose a new job or career based solely on your earning potential. Without a doubt you need money to life the life you want to live, however you will be spending a large portion of your life therefore it is important to choose a career that you actually enjoy. Remember the more money you earn, the more work responsibilities you will have. The more work responsibilities you have, the less time you will have enjoying your high paying salary.
Think long-term transition not short-term quick fix
Changing your career is a step-by-step process. Don’t expect a quick transition from where you are now to a more senior, higher paying role in a different field. You need to consider all your options to work your way up into the role you really desire. Perhaps you will have to study further, or move sideways first. Create a long-term plan to help you reach your goal and then work towards it.
I know many people who would have loved to have told their old bosses exactly what they thought of them when they left their old jobs, however this is completely the wrong thing to do. You may think that you will never see them again but we live in a small world. They might be called upon to provide references for you, or they may know people in the company that you want to work for and could possibly blow your chances of getting the job you want. In the worst possible scenario of all, if your new career doesn’t work out you may need to go back to them and ask for your old job back.
So if you are really determined to change careers, then make sure you don’t make a hasty decision. Do your research, reflect on what you really want and really plan your transition to avoid making a big career mistake.