If you’re currently thinking about a career change at this point, you are not alone. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the average worker changes careers 5 to 10 times before attaining age fifty. Fortunately for you, a career change is feasible today than it was in previous generations. But, the question is, how can you tell you’ve had enough? For probable answers, please read further to find out.
- Your passion lies elsewhere
Many people idealize their dream jobs from childhood right into their mature years. Suddenly, after a few years of being in that career space, they realize their passion is entirely different from what they do daily. There is nothing wrong with chasing after what you love. The problem lies in its interference with your current career, and that should get you thinking.
For example, it may have been a childhood dream to practice nursing, and you finally get to do that. Hurray! However, somewhere along the line (and especially with the onset of COVID-19), you begin to notice that your actual interest is in social work and not healthcare per se. As a result, it wouldn’t be wrong to change careers by pursuing a masters in social work degree. Although this is just a made-up scenario, it tends to happen a lot and if it’s your case, consider making a move by getting the appropriate certification.
- Your high salary no longer makes up for the boredom you feel
According to the Harvard Business Review, many people are willing to seek meaningful jobs and careers in recent times. More than half of these people will voluntarily do that, even if that takes away 23% of their lifetime earnings. This statistic places importance on the fact that a lot more people feel content doing more with their careers, even when that includes lower pay.
Job satisfaction is a crucial element in the life of every professional. It explains why nobody wants to spend the rest of their lives doing something that feels parallel to their goals and objectives. Before you jump ship, rethink your priorities, skills, and how they could be of use in another professional path.
- Poor job outlook for your current career
Usually, career consultants advise young professionals to properly assess their desired occupations before signing the appointment letter. Some questions you need to ask yourself are detailed below;
- How effective will the chosen career be in a decade? (grow, decrease or remain constant)
- How does technology influence it?
- Are there other viable opportunities within the same field?
Having an objective perspective to these questions will save you from the indecision that comes with a career change. Admittedly, external factors such as the economy, public health, etc., may change an otherwise excellent job outlook to a poor one. A typical example is what the Coronavirus pandemic has caused the employment sector. Sometimes, the future may have looked eventful, but you never know when and how that will change. Therefore, always decide on career choices that have a better outlook, regardless of external influences.
- You always feel job burnout
Everybody feels job burnout at some point in their lives, and it’s a common thing after doing the same thing for years. The real problem here is when this becomes a constant feature for you. Sometimes, stress is the reason, and in other instances, it may be due to poor scheduling of your time. If you can identify the cause and provide practical solutions, that is excellent.
On the other hand, if your burnout results from job saturation, consider the prospects of a new job rather than changing careers. According to Health Magazine, job burnout can lead to a deterioration of physical and mental health. It also found out that women tend to suffer the effects of job exhaustion than men. It explains why in the United States, women are more at risk of depression than the opposite gender.
- You need a new challenge
You know what they say about familiarity breeding contempt. After years of being content with your job, it all becomes routine, and you desire something else to bring the spark into your professional life. Although this is quite similar to burnout, the difference lies in your desire to do something else you consider more challenging than your current career. For some people, pushing themselves to new heights is the ultimate reason for a career change.
Giving yourself a new challenge in your professional life can be addictive. If you’ve done it one too many times, a hiring manager may find that problematic. It could be interpreted as a poor commitment to employers or a personal inability to stick around for long. Therefore, if this is your choice, ensure you have committed at least five years to your previous career or job.
- A need to earn more money
Now, this is the exact opposite of point two. Do you remember that discussion? While high earnings do not automatically ensure job satisfaction, you still need to live decently. Moreover, over your lifetime, needs and expectations increase, and these can influence a career change.
Looking for something else that pays more and caters to your growing needs is a significant feature in many career moves. According to a 2020 Automatic Data Processing (ADP) survey, people who switched careers got increased remuneration compared to those who didn’t.
These professionals included teachers, nurses, hotel employees, and construction workers. It would be best if you were realistic, though, in your pay expectations. Although it’s great to target six-figure annual earnings, do not get your hopes too high up. The guiding principle is to aim for something higher than your current.
Finally, it helps to appreciate that a career change is a marathon and not a sprint. You will need all the support you can get to make it a successful move. Those who managed the switch admitted to feelings of uncertainty and a temptation to go back to their former career. However, it took lots of self-discipline to brave the odds.