The average person changes jobs up to 10 times throughout their working years. This does not necessarily mean a career change but may also mean job changes. Is it time for you to make a job or career change? In the current economic climate you might want to think twice about changing your career if you are in a stable job. However, there are always legitimate reasons to change a job or career but don't be too rash. Planning is key to avoid many hardships during the career transition. Here are a few tips and things to think about when deciding if it is time to make the career change.
How much can you survive on? Do you have a spouse or significant other that has a stable job and you are able to make that job switch to something new? If making this career move is financially viable, go for it. If not, don't rush it. With proper planning, your career change can happen.
Know why you are making the career change. Are you leaving a job because you want to move to a new location? Or you don't like what you are doing, or not making enough money with your current job, or do not feel fulfilled in your present career? If you just want to move, maybe there is a job in the same company that you can get a job transfer. Are there other jobs within your company that you would rather do, if you are a valued employee try asking for a different position. It is important to understand why you are making the move; you don't want to step out of the frying pan and step into the fire.
If staying at the same company won't work out, or is out of the question, then here are a few things to think about while looking for a new job or career...
Hobbies don't always make for good career changes. If you're hobby is building model airplanes, you will need to do some homework and testing the waters to see if there is enough interest for you to make your hobby a success. Also be sure that your hobby is something you wouldn't mind doing on a more permanent basis. If you have done your research about your hobby or other entrepreneurial venture and the numbers work, by all means with proper business planning and capital it can be a success. Check out others who have tried it and learn from them, what worked and what didn't work.
Network, Network, Network. I cannot say enough about getting out there and networking with people in your career field or the career field you would like to change. If you want to be self-employed, network with people who can some day help you make that change. This is something you need to keep up on even if you have no plans to change careers. Word of mouth is a great tool for a successful career or successful career change.
Plan for your career change. Don't jump impulsively into a new career venture without first doing research and determining what you will need to succeed. If you are starting your own business, make a business plan, determine how much capital you will need, if you don't have the capital where will you get it. Volunteering is a great way to understand if this is a career change you can live with. Check out volunteering in the field you can find places to volunteer at volunteermatch.org.
Begin saving your Cash. When you make a change to a new careers your cash flow will be limited usually in the beginning. You may need cash to make the move. Make a budget and stick to it. You will want to pay off your higher interest credit cards as much as possible. You may need that credit later with startup or moving expenses.
Get Physically fit. Looking for a new job or career can be physically draining if you do not take proper care. Be sure to schedule time for workouts – this does not need to be at an expensive gym facility – but can be going for walks or other simple activities. You are going to need the energy and you will want to look your best during your interview.
Focus on getting the interview. Do not worry about getting the job, that is the next step. You will not get the job without first getting the interview. Be open with your scheduling when filling out applications, you can work out the details once they offer you the job. However, do not say you will work nights if that is something you have absolutely no intention of ever doing.
Age is not a disability. Your age and experience is a benefit to you and your new employer. Be excited about what you have achieved in your previous jobs or career. Let your prospects know what you can bring to their organization, your skills and life experience can be great leverage when interviewing for a new job.
Go into the interview expecting the job. Know that you are the right person for the job and do not be bashful about letting them know. Sell yourself and tell them what you have accomplished and can do for them. Use your selling skills - you are the product that you are selling.
During an interview never bash previous employers. If asked why you left your previous job – learn to be political about it. Do not say "I hated my previous boss", no one wants to hire a disgruntled employee. This should be common sense, but it needs to be said.
Never, never, never burn bridges. I have heard about people who have told their previous bosses, peers, or clients what they think of them when leaving a job. Whatever it takes avoid doing this; if your job was that bad just be glad you are leaving and leave it at that. Some day you may need that bridge and it won't be there for you.
Good luck in your career change, it is a difficult time to leave a stable job, but with proper planning and research you can make the successful transition to a new career. These tips can help your job change a lot less stressful and more rewarding.