We’re no longer of a generation that chooses one career and sticks with it. While our grandparents may have stayed with a single company their entire working lives, nowadays people bounce around companies, continents, and career paths all the time. Unfortunately, this means that our forefathers may not be able to give us the best advice when we decide we want to make the transition. So here are some important things to consider while making that uncertain, foreboding, and always exciting career switch!
A crucial part of changing direction is determining exactly where you currently stand. It’s important to understand why you want to make a change, and what specifically you have at the moment that you want to modify. Is your work unfulfilling, not paying you well enough, or leading to a dead end? And are there ways you can remedy these current problems without jumping ship? Making a career switch is a huge task, so instead of falling into the “grass is always greener” mentality right away, it may be wise to evaluate whether or not you can find ways to be happier where you currently are.
Before you make any hasty decisions, it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting yourself into. You don’t want to transition out of a career just to find the same problems in the new industry you’re entering. For the new field that you’re considering, make sure you have a solid understanding of salary range, career path, corporate culture, and so on. You don’t want to glorify a new career solely because it presents a change, and then come to find out that you were happier beforehand.
Just because you feel passionate about a new position doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come easily to you. Even if you’re an expert in your current field, you may find yourself having to start from scratch when you transition to a new one. Figure out what prerequisites are essential for the new career you’re pursuing, and accept the fact that you may have to spend considerable time becoming qualified for the new position. This might mean taking classes, learning new skills, or hitting the books and catching up on industry literature.
Another step to start thinking about is how you’re going to work your way into the “in crowd” of your chosen industry. It’s important to know the right people when you’re making a career switch, as they’ll be able to impart advice, make introductions, and present you with new paths to consider. To that end, think about finding a mentor you can chat back and forth with as you grow and become more established in your new vocation.
Making a career switch takes courage, so pat yourself on the back if you’ve decided to embark on this transition. Remember that it won’t always be easy, but that the best things in life take hard work and tenacity.
Best of luck,
The Doostang Team