Choosing a New Career

Choosing a new career can be very stressful, scary, and exciting. The reason it ignites so much emotion is because you are essentially changing a major part of your life. A person's career generally consumes the majority of his or her (awake) hours, so it's important to put a lot of thought into choosing a new career.

Why Are You Choosing A New Career?

It's important to first try to understand why you are choosing a new career in the first place, to make sure you aren't making the wrong decision by leaving your soon-to-be old career. Here are some potential reasons that you might want to think about:
  • You don't like the hours that are typical in your current career.
  • You've identified your passion and determined that it doesn't fit with your current career.
  • You've earned a new degree or certification that qualifies you for a more desirable career.
  • You don't currently make enough money (or you make less than you think you deserve).
Whatever your reason may be, be sure you fully understand it. The worst thing you could do would be to quit your current job only to find that you really don't have a better option to turn to.

How Should You Go About Choosing a New Career?

There are four basic elements that qualify you for a job, so you should be able to fall back on one of these while choosing a new career:

1) Experience - Generally if you are choosing a new career, you won't have relevant experience. This is not always the case, however, as you might find a new career that is somewhat related to your old one, where your previous experience is still valuable.

2) Education - Often, changing your path of employment is driven by your education. For example, you might be a nurse but you are interested in business, so you go back to school to obtain your MBA. This is sometimes difficult when you are older and have to support a family, but many people can overcome this obstacle by earning a degree online.

3) Talent - If you have a special talent (such as singing or drawing) outside of your field of expertise, this is often enough to get you onto a different career path. Consider any talents you may have while trying to find a new job. More importantly, make sure you have a way to demonstrate or prove these talents.

4) Passion - Although having at least one of the above elements (experience, education, and talent) are very critical to leaving your job and choosing a new career, passion can often propel you beyond everything else. Being passionate about something may give you the motivation you need to learn a new trade or start your own business. Furthermore, following your passion will lead you to doing work you enjoy.

Choosing a new career may not be easy or fun, but it's often essential to keeping you happy in life. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to spend enough time thinking about it and considering all available options.