Thinking of a career change can be a great thing if you feel you can do much more in your new career. It is a new start, new take on things and could mean that you bid adieu to your old job as well as career. It all sounds exciting and you may be reading blogs by lot of people who have posted their success stories or how career change made a world of difference to their life. However they often omit the tricky parts and also what worked for them may not work for you, especially if you have a different career path or are opting for some offbeat career. In any case a career change is a BIG decision and there are these 7 things to remember before changing careers:
1. It is different than a job change:
First thing to remember is that Career change in different than a job change. In a job change, you will most likely do things you have been already doing just in a different set of circumstances and environment with different set of rules. Your core skills will not be that different in such a case. In a career change everything changes. Right from the work environment to the challenges of the job and the task at hand to the skill-sets required. So be prepared to have a 360 degree change in your life.
2. Are you aware of the intricacies of the new career:
If you have decided on a career change; what new career are you going to take up? Are you sure on that front? If you are, then are you aware of the intricacies of that new career? Are you aware of the growth ladder in your new career and how can you successfully climb that? All these questions need to be answered before you take that leap. So think carefully.
3. Do you see yourself in that same career 5 years down the line or more:
Once you have decided on a new career, you need to answer another question, which is Do you see yourself in that career 5 years down the line? And if so, doing what or at what level? These are crucial since it also determines your growth curve and also tell you if you will be in this new career for the long run.
4. You may not get the same pay scale:
This is the most important factor to consider. Are you ready to take a cut in your pay-packet? Since when you change careers, very rarely would you get more than what you made and if you are lucky, you can expect the same pay scale. However by and large it will be lesser than what you made, since remember in most cases it will be a fresh start. So you need to decide if you can take that cut and can sustain for at least a year or so.
5. You will have to learn a lot initially:
Are you prepared to learn new things and train yourself for the new challenges of the career? Career change will require patience and learning that you will have to sincerely go through. If you are ready to dive into it, then surely take the plunge.
6. Answer this – Why are you changing careers in the first place:
Yes, why go through all the pain and change careers? Is it just because someone did it or is it since you came across a great blog that was all gung-ho about it? Or you are sincerely convinced you can contribute and in turn grow well in your new career and it is your true calling in life. Answer these questions.
7. Is it going to be yet another job or entrepreneurial venture:
For you a new career is just a means of changing over since it is just a way to get a new job in a new industry or do you have long term entrepreneurial plans for it. This is vital since if your motive for a career change itself is not clear, then you would be again going through career change blogs and such posts a few years down the line, looking for a new career. You certainly want to settle into something stable and long term beyond a point, right?
Career change can be exciting, but it must be thought through and then the decision be made. All the best!