What to Know Before Making a Job or Career Transition

What to Know Before Making a Job or Career Transition

If you are fed up with your job or feeling stuck, it is only natural to start thinking about making a change. However, since a job and the money and benefits it provides are a big part of your life, it pays to do some careful evaluation of your situation and plan properly before you jump ship. Here are some things to consider before embarking on a job transition.

Can You Improve Your Situation Where You Are?

Before you start trying to find a new job, explore your options at your current employer. While job transitions within your company take some work, it is less involved than finding and convincing a completely new employer to hire you. Identify what is causing your dissatisfaction. Is it that you do not get along with your boss? Do you feel like you are not making enough money?  Does your work feel unfulfilling?

Sometimes, people fall into a routine in their jobs where little things accumulate and sap their enthusiasm and energy at work. But paradoxically, if you are dissatisfied with your position, this is the perfect time to really stretch your capabilities. Since you have nothing to lose, you are free to push back on unreasonable requests and make suggestions without fear of rejection. You can practice your negotiation skills and ask for more money, a promotion or a lateral transfer to get away from the source of your workplace stress.

If you are interested in exploring career transitions, it may be possible to do that with your current employer by asking for a new role. This is easier to do if you are already doing some of those types of tasks in your current job. For example, a customer service rep who is adept at convincing customers not to cancel their service with a company can make a case to go into the sales department.

Is a Career Transition the Right Decision?

A career change may be the right decision if:

  1. When you think about your industry, even at the highest levels, it doesn’t excite you. You might have gone into this career because you felt limited or did not want to disappoint someone you cared about. But now, once you have started it, it has become clear that there just is not anything about it that motivates you to get up in the morning.
  2. You already have some of the skills and experience used in the new career and have been successful in using them. You may do something at your current job or in your personal life that has prepared you for another career. An example is a person who volunteers at an aftercare program for low-income children who later goes back to school to become a teacher.
  3. You are able to get by on a lower salary. Remember, if you are thinking about making a career transition, you will most likely be going into that career path at an entry-level position. Even if that new career has a higher earnings potential, you may need to take a financial hit before you gain enough experience to earn at the level you were at in your old career.
  4. You have a moral or ethical problem not just with your current employer, but the industry as a whole. If the business you are currently in makes you feel like a bad person, it is time to make a change. Sometimes, it may just be an individual company and you can just look for a job at a competitor. But if the entire industry is against your principals, a career change is in order.

Preparing for a Job or Career Change

If you have decided to go ahead with transitioning to a new job or career, there are some things you can do ahead of time that will vastly increase your chance of finding a new, more fulfilling position quickly.

Building Your Network

One of the best ways to get a new job is through your network of business and personal contacts. If you do not already have at least three professional contacts who are able and willing to recommend you for a new job, it is time to get to work building your network. This means not just connecting with someone on LinkedIn or at a networking group happy hour, but actually building a relationship with that person. The idea here is to create career-related friends, not just acquaintances.

You can do this by participating in group projects through industry organizations or volunteer activities or by offering them help in accomplishing a career or personal goal. Stay in regular touch with the people in your network by getting together for lunch or coffee or talking on the phone mixed in with digital outreach via email or LinkedIn. When you interact with a professional contact, be genuine; no one wants to feel that they are being used. That way, when you are ready to look for a new job, you know that you can rely on that person to help you however possible.

Researching What Is in Demand

You may know that you no longer want to do what you are doing, but not know what you would rather do instead. Some industries are expanding while others are shrinking; expanding careers will be those hiring the most workers. To get some ideas of careers that are in demand, you can go to online job boards and see what jobs are being advertised. Which are common and what are the skills they require? Which careers look like something you would enjoy? Which require skills you already have?

To get more insight, you can talk to people who are in those careers to learn what they do on a daily basis. What do they like and not like about their jobs? What are the pathways to advancement?

Developing Your Skills

Once you decide what career you would like to go into, you will likely need to develop skills used in that type of job. Going back to the job postings, identify commonly required skills and learn those skills by either going back to school, doing online classes or earning a certification. Some skills you may be able to teach yourself by reading books or watching videos.

Skill development is important not just for hard skills like learning how to use a new computer software program, but also soft skills like verbal and written communication. You can then use your newly acquired skills in personal projects, by interning or volunteering or by freelancing.

Talking to Career Transition Coaching Services

Career transition companies or career coaches can help you with career planning, resume building, negotiation and other career transition services. They can help.

Best Careers to Transition Into

The best career for you will be one that you are excited about and that you have the skills to do. However, these are the careers that are expanding now and are relatively easy to get employment for career changers.

  • Digital marketing specialists
  • graphic designers
  • Marketing strategists
  • Data analysts
  • Accountants
  • Human resources professionals
  • Operations managers
  • IT professionals
  • Web engineers

By Admin