10 Questions To Ask If You're Considering A Career Change | sheerluxe.com

10 Questions To Ask If You're Considering A Career Change

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Contemplating a career change can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to just stick with what you know. If you’re wondering whether to take the plunge or not, SL contributor Nina Bertok has ten questions you need to ask...

Are there clear signs it’s time for a change?

The first step to tackling a career crossroads is recognising that you are at a career crossroads. Ask yourself, if everything stayed the same, would that be okay? If the answer is no or even a ‘maybe not’, trust that it’s probably time to move on from your current situation. Pay attention to more subtle signs too, which can be as simple as having trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

Could there be other issues at play?

Don’t mistake career dissatisfaction with unhappiness in other areas. Pinpoint the root of the problem before changing your entire career – are you bored with something else in your life and making work the scapegoat? Or can you say for sure that a change in career would make you happier? Before planning to totally leave your industry, think about simply changing teams or companies to increase satisfaction.

What does your dream career look like?

This is the fun part! Career experts often say good jobs are an intersection of your skills, interests and values, but it also helps to visualise what day-to-day in your new career feels like. So imagine your new job, and picture yourself waking up and getting ready to commute to your office. What sort of tasks do you do, what are your colleagues like, and how does your boss treat you? If the imagined scenario seems to fit well with your life and leaves you feeling good, you’ve found something you want.

What’s your motivation?

What motivates you? Being creative? Contributing to a team? Leading others? Figuring out what makes you tick – whether it’s appreciation from your boss (a key factor in employee satisfaction), stability or personal growth – tells you where your values lie and, ultimately, what sort of job you’re best suited for.

Have you made a pros and cons list?

Identify which aspects of your current role, environment and industry you like – these are the elements that you will want to look for again in your next job. Perhaps a friendly office and polite team is more important than a certain location or the size of the company? Put it on your wish list as a ‘must-have’. Likewise, identify the things you’re not currently enjoying in order to better understand what it is you do want.

On a Similar Note

Do you need to brush up on any skills?

You’ll undoubtedly have a lot to offer, but is there anything else you need to land that dream job? Be realistic about the gaps that separate you from those already working in the industry and close as many as you can by acquiring relevant skills, knowledge and qualifications – search for classes, volunteering opportunities or workshops in your area.

Are you really willing to make this happen?

To make a career change you might need to volunteer, go back to school, start a second job, or spend a lot of time networking – so really consider if you'll have the time and financial stability to do so. When it comes to money, networking, attending related events or picking up a ‘side hustle’ will allow you to dip your toe in the industry without having to give up your current income.

Do you have a plan?

Unless you already have a between-jobs ‘emergency fund’ set up, the prospect of being unable to pay the bills is probably a big reason you’re unsure about making the switch. So set out a plan; map out a sensible budget and start setting goals and targets. If money seems tight, accept that you may have to cut some luxuries – dining out and travelling, for example. Stick to your plan and keep moving towards taking the plunge, it’ll take commitment but a willingness to do this shows you really want a change.

Who can you learn from?

Someone out there, right now, has the job you’re considering moving to,  so use their trials and errors to perfect your own approach. Pick one or two people who you aspire to, then do your research to determine how they got there. Rather than copying their every move, tweak and adapt the process to your own experience, knowledge and skills.

What’s really holding you back?

Fear of failure, uncertainty, financial insecurity – these are all valid concerns but chances are you’ll be able to make a career change work. Once successful, you’ll only wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Identify what it is you’re worried about, put plans in place to guard against these worries if possible, and then embrace the fear of the unknown and go after what you want.



Inspiration Credits: LisaVillaUme.com, Levo.com, CreativeBoom.com
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