From time to time in life, you are likely to find that you’re in a particular situation with regards to your career that isn’t the one you would have chosen for yourself, all things being equal.
The question, then, is whether to stay on the current path, or whether to switch things up dramatically and commit to making a career change.
A career change is always going to be a big and potentially daunting thing, in and of itself. This is especially likely to be the case if you are older and if you have responsibilities such as a mortgage to deal with.
Nonetheless, a career change can also be a tremendous and positive experience, especially when choosing the right career path.
Here are just a few things to consider before a career change, in order to help you approach it With the right mindset.
Whether the long-term prospects of the career in question work for you
It’s always useful to know as much as you can about certain core details, before jumping with both feet into a new career.
While you shouldn’t become overly preoccupied with trying to craft the perfect “10 year plan” going forward, it’s good to know, more or less, whether the long-term prospects of the career in question work for you, and for the goals you subscribe to.
For example, if you’re considering switching to a career as a truck driver, it would be useful to know what the highest paying truck driving jobs are, so that you can see what sort of “ceiling” it is that you’re dealing with.
The same goes for every other type of career, too. How far can the path in question take you?
How long it will take you to become settled and self-sufficient
Certain jobs will essentially grant you a good degree of financial security more or less from day one, but it is also the case that many other jobs – especially those of a more entrepreneurial bent — that people often gravitate towards when making a big career hop, won’t work that way.
If you’re planning to start up your own business, for example, it’s important to realise that you may well have to operate at a loss for several years – and that your business may, in fact, never end up turning a profit.
You need to get a clear sense of how long it will take you to become settled and self-sufficient with the new career you are contemplating. Compare this to what you have saved away, in order to see how practical the approach is.
Whether you actually value the career in and of itself, on its own terms
If you were thinking about making a career change entirely based on pragmatic concerns, such as the earning potential involved, then you would likely be making a significant mistake.
Try, as much as possible, to clearly identify a career path that you actually value in and of itself, on its own terms.
This will enhance your well-being on the job, and will make you more resilient to hurdles and frustrations, too.