It is interesting to note that the job search website, SEEK, undertook some research that revealed 67% of us aspire to work in a different industry than the one that we’re currently in. However, before changing careers, it’s important to do your research and consider in substantial detail, the career path you’d like to take. SEEK have outlined 3 mistakes people make when looking to change careers. Here is a summary:
1. Changing careers because you dislike your current job
When you’re working in a job that you don’t enjoy, it’s easy to confuse disliking your current job with disliking your current career. Spend time analysing the actual reasons why you don’t like your current job. If it’s your manager, location, hours or organisational culture, ask yourself whether these aspects are unique to the job, or whether they could improve in a similar role in a new company. If you identify stressors to be industry-specific, such as the content of your work or the required skills, you may have a valid reason for wanting to make a career change. Whatever you determine, make sure you have a solid plan for transitioning into a new career before leaving your current job.
2. Changing careers without proper research or self- reflection
Sometimes the ideas we have about an industry or career we’ve never worked in are romanticised, and the only way to make a good judgement is by researching the career thoroughly. Do some systematic investigation by asking people you may know in your industry of interest about the ins and outs of their jobs. Look at relevant position descriptions. The next step is to assess your skills, values and interests and whether they’d be suitable for the career you’re after.
One way to do this is to make two parallel lists. One, with the skills and attributes required to do the job you’re seeking, and the other, with your own skills, experiences, strengths and weaknesses, both professionally and otherwise. Then, draw lines between the two lists where both sides match and complement one another. The more connections you make, the more likely you’re suitable for that new career. Where there are significant gaps further learning maybe necessary.
3. Changing careers based solely on money or the perks of an industry
Certain career fields can be very attractive because of high salaries and additional benefits, but be careful of making a career change based on the dollar signs. A high-paying role often demands more responsibility, time and energy, putting more pressure on your work/life balance, time for yourself and health needs. It is important to have a plan for this added pressure. It may also be worthwhile undertaking a ‘WHAT IF’ analysis. Do you have fa all back position if something goes wrong?
If you have any thoughts or experiences please share them with me. I can then post these (maintaining confidentiality) on a future blog to start a conversation about the topic. This may start a valuable conversation amongst like minded people to help all of us do things better. firstname.lastname@example.org