Making career moves can be tricky. Your efforts may or may not work out, depending on how you approach the situation. To avoid stumbling, here are some things you should avoid:
1. Confusing Job Change with Career Change
Ask yourself whether it’s the job you dislike or your career itself. Do you enjoy your work on at least some level? If so, consider finding work in a different organization rather than planning a massive career shift.
However, if you feel your career is sucking the life out of you, it’s probably time to make a career move. (It’s important to consider—and know—what you really enjoy doing rather than thinking of salary as the priority.)Determine what really makes you unhappy in your current work before finalizing any plans.
2. Being to Idealistic Regarding the Job Planned
Dreaming of a career change can be a case of the grass always being greener on the other side. Don’t assume that everything will go well when you make the shift. If you are seriously thinking about moving to a different career, it’s wise to talk to people in the field to get an idea of how the work really works. Doing this makes you understand what day-to-day life in your potential new job will be like.
3. Not Planning Financially
Start preparing for your eventual pay cut once you start to make a career change, because it may take a long time for you to get your salary back to its current level (if ever, depending on your chosen field). Plan your finances ahead of time before quitting your current job to make the change less stressful.
Reduce excess spending, save money in advance and consider taking an extra job if you can. Your savings can take you a long way if you’ve planned properly.
4. Not Being Realistic About the Change Process
Anticipate that it will take a long time to find the right job. Since the path you will be taking is challenging, make sure you have the ability to keep positive during your search.
If you do get a job, be ready to start at the bottom. Though the drop in status may be difficult to accept in some cases, be thankful for the opportunity to learn, and having enough time to prepare for the hard work that goes with it.
5. Making a Career Change for Someone Else
Since it’s tough to make a career change, make sure your heart is 100% in it before you officially make the decision. Make sure it’s your own decision — don’t do it because someone else thinks you should. You’ll be the one living with your new career. after all.