Career Changes: How to Steer Clear of the Most Common Mistakes
There are probably a number of times in your life where you might feel that your career is ending down a blind alley, prompting you to consider a career change.
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The main thing to do when contemplating a career change, is to not just make sure your residential situation is sorted, but to also ensure that you manage to steer clear of some of the mistakes that too many of us make.
Changing careers because you hate your current job is right up there on the list as a popular incentive for setting out on a new path.
Job dissatisfaction and even a general loathing for the work you are doing and maybe even the person you are working for, who doesn’t seem to appreciate or notice your efforts, would seem like motivation enough to hand in your notice and look for something else.
First thing to say is that you need to distinguish between hating your current job and hating the line of work that you are in. if you hate both, then it may be time for a career change, but if you are simply bored and lacking motivation in your current workplace, that’s a different matter.
Don’t leave your job until you have first evaluated what it is you want and secondly, have formulated a plan to move forward, either in a different direction or in the same industry but with a different employer.
Don’t be blinded by the money and the benefits
Of course money and fringe benefits are strong motivational factors when it comes to looking for a new position or a new career entirely, but it is often a mistake to make a career change solely on the basis of the fact that you will be getting paid more and will be entitled to more benefits.
The old cliché of money not buying you happiness can be interpreted in any number of ways. Earning more money each money can make your happier for sure and it can ease the strain on your finances, but if it turns out that you hate your new career, you may well end up spending that extra money on some health-related expenses in order to improve your mood.
What works for you
It is easy to be influenced by the experience of others and if you have a friend or old work colleague who has already moved to a new career and seem to be loving it, you could draw the conclusion that you should consider doing the same thing.
You should not take a leap into a new career just because someone else you know is doing well in that sector.
It is important that the work you are considering getting in to is a good fit for you, regardless of how well someone else appears to be doing. Take the time to evaluate what the work involves, what the long term prospects are and most importantly, whether the work is something that is suited to your personality and skills.
Share your thoughts
Many of us simply allow our levels of job dissatisfaction to build up inside and only really talk about how we are feeling and why we are leaving to take up a new career, when handing in our notice.
It is perfectly understandable that you may feel more than a bit apprehensive about sharing your thoughts with your current boss or HR department. Many of us will make the assumption that as soon as you express your thoughts publicly about leaving because you are unhappy in your current job, this will mark the end of your career prospects in your current job.
Only you can gauge the situation and how receptive your boss will be to your concerns, but it could be that they do something about it and improve your job situation and responsibilities, in order to keep you there.
First step might be to talk to some work colleagues you can trust as well as doing a bit of discreet networking, so that you can see what job opportunities might be available.
Once you have formulated a plan, there is often little harm in talking to your current boss, so that you can see if you really do need a career change or not.
Carrie Tyler is a career’s advisor who has worked with college students as well as adults already in work over the years. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and helping people better themselves. Her articles appear on a wide range of blogs.