The Complete Guide to Switching Jobs
Did you know that two-thirds of Americans are disengaged or worse while at work?
That’s a pretty depressing figure, especially considering that, on average, we spend one-third of our lives at work.
Are you feeling like your current career isn’t working anymore and it’s time to go a different way?
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about switching jobs.
Why Do Most People Make a Career Change?
People change careers for a lot of different reasons. However, some patterns emerge when surveys have been done regarding the reasoning behind different individual’s career changes.
One survey found that the five most common reasons people changed careers were:
- The new career paid better
- The old career was too stressful
- The new career provides a better work-life balance
- The new career presents a new challenge
- The old career was something they were no longer passionate about
As you can see, changing careers isn’t just about money. While 47% of career changes happen because of better pay, 39% of career changes happen because people’s jobs are just way too stressful. Making a big salary isn’t always worth it if your job is sending your stress levels through the roof.
What are the Benefits of Changing Careers?
The same survey found that people enjoyed a number of benefits from making their career change. About three-quarters of respondents said that they were happier and more satisfied with their job. 69% of people said they felt more fulfilled, and 65% of them said they were less stressed.
On average, the people who made a career change were making an additional $10,800 every year. Not only does switching jobs benefit people in terms of their satisfaction and happiness, but it tends to be a solid financial decision as well.
How to Change Careers
Changing careers can seem like an incredibly daunting task. If you’ve been in the same field for years or even decades, it’s easy to wonder if it’s even possible. Switching jobs will likely take you out of your comfort zone, but it can be worth it if you are ready to make a big change.
Evaluate Your Current Situation
It’s easy to get fed up with our current job and daydream about doing something completely different. If you work in an office on the computer all day, you might fantasize about a job where you move around more, like being a chef. While these impulses are worth paying attention to, you’ll want to carefully evaluate your current job and understand what you dislike and like about it.
Keep a journal everyday about your work life. Talk about what your work consists of, the people you work with, and the company culture. You might find that you actually want to stay in the same field but work for a different company, or maybe you want to pursue a different position within the same company.
Assess Your Skills, Interests, and Values
Many of us don’t utilize all of our skills in our current position. Stroll down memory lane and compile a list of all of the skills you’ve acquired in past jobs and volunteer work. This can help you understand what other jobs you might be suited for or if your skills are underutilized in your current career.
Brainstorm Alternative Careers
Using your list of skills, interests, and values, you can now start brainstorming other careers you might pursue. Remember, there are never stupid ideas in brainstorming!
Survey Your Options
Now that you have some alternative career ideas, check into what’s out there. Look online to see what jobs are available in different fields and where they’re located.
When considering your next career, you also want to keep in mind how future-proof the field is. In a quickly changing world, it’s possible that certain careers won’t be as lucrative or prevalent even in a few year’s time. If you’re interested in learning about jobs that won’t be automated, you can read more now.
Networking is an essential part of most fields. Reach out to people in the field and conduct informational interviews. Try to establish personal relationships with organizations or companies that you’ve decided you’re interested in working for.
Getting a referral is an ideal way to get a leg up in the job search process, but asking to speak with an HR representative is still better than simply submitting an online application. Actually going into places of businesses rather than just applying online can also give you the opportunity to feel out the vibe and the culture there.
Shadow Professionals and/or Volunteer
It’s easy to daydream about how great a different career would be. Realistically, though, there are probably going to be things you dislike about your new career as well.
Rather than trying to imagine what it would be like, take the opportunity to find a professional to shadow or at least volunteer to help within the field. This can help understand what the day-to-day experience of the job might be like.
Upgrade Your Skills
While still in your current job, you can focus your free time on learning new skills that might help you in your career change. Going back to school isn’t absolutely necessary, but it definitely depends on what your next desired career is.
Switching Jobs: Is it the Right Thing For You?
To some extent, work will always be work. However, it’s totally possible to find a field where you feel more fulfilled in your work.
We spend too much of our lives at work to be miserable in our careers. While our jobs are an important part of our lives, it’s important to remember that our well-being and our family’s well-being is arguably the most important thing. The first step in switching jobs is doing some soul searching, understand what it is you’re really looking for.
Did you find this article about switching jobs helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and interesting articles!