In professional life, there are three reasons that make you loathe going to work everyday: your job, your boss and your career. Of these three, changing your career is the toughest decision that one is going to make.
People do change their careers at different stages in life; some in the mid twenties, others at thirty and even at 50 years old.
The most reasons why people opt to change their careers are: no room for growth in the current jobs, they want to do something in line with their talent, interest or passion, evolution in work places among others.
According to Margaret Waithaka, the executive director in Discover Your Career (DYC) some people do change their careers if they were misaligned from the beginning and start a career of choice altogether. “The world is a dynamic place, with time job requirements change, expanding interests and also life roles at times may drive a person to want a change and explore new areas,” she says.
However, there are factors one need to consider before embarking on the journey to change from your current career.
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Below are five important things you need to know if you want a career change:
1. Is the career change necessary?
Do you really want to change your career or your work environment? If you truly enjoy what you are doing in your current job, then possibilities are that it is your work place or the employers policies that conflict you. One can then change the work environment by looking for new opportunities. However, if you really dislike the career you are in currently, you can start thinking of available and new options for the future.
2. Can you transfer your skills
A new career demands new skills, this is what intimidates many people from changing their careers. One can focus on how to transfer his/her certain skills to fit into the new career. After identifying the transferable skills, it makes it easy to make the career switch.
3. Starting from the beginning
Are you okay starting your new career as an entry level? When you want to change career, one must bear in mind starting from the bottom of the food chain. That means losing the status quo, huge pay cut and probation time by your new employers for competence before moving up.
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4. Can you financially continue to support your lifestyle?
The financial part in a career switch is very vital. Your new career may attract a bigger salary or a massive pay cut. Do you have enough money to support your current lifestyle or will the quality of your life be affected negatively? Be financially wise and prepared before making the decision to change your career.
5. Do you have enough contacts to help you make the switch
There’s a Swahili saying that goes Mtu ni Watu, in making a career change one need as much help as they can get. Network with people who are already in the career you want to switch to and inquire about their work. This will give you a picture of how the industry operates and see if you can place yourself in such an environment.
Do as much research as you can about the places you’d wish to work in and evaluate if their values marry with your personal and professional values. Ask questions, attend their events, conferences and learn as such as you can before making the dreaded decision.
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