A Career Change: 13 Things to Keep in Mind

While making a career change is something we think about from time to time, we often put off taking the step because we assume the process will be stressful and full of uncertainties. But if you are unhappy with your current job, we can help.

Bitely Team
Last update:calendarApr 20, 2024
Read time:clock12 min
A Career Change: 13 Things to Keep in Mind

While making a career change is something we think about from time to time, we often put off taking the step because we assume the process will be stressful and full of uncertainties. But if you are unhappy with your current job, we can help.

Around seven out of ten people change jobs in their lifetime. It would be great if we could all climb the career ladder in a straight line from the very beginning until we reach the top. You could grow up knowing exactly what you want to be and doing it for most of your life. Unfortunately, most people don't find this true, and it is entirely normal and often encouraged that we have to move around a few times to find exactly what is suitable for us. A career change is considered to be moving to a different organization or changing positions within the same organization to find the right job for you.

Knowing when you are ready to start a new job and look for new roles can be challenging. When is the best time to apply for a job? What are the signs that it is time to change jobs, and how do you know when it is time? It is important to consult different sources when thinking about a career change because there is much to consider.

There are many online resources where you can find advice on making a career change and choosing the right career path. We've reviewed these sources for you and compiled a list of the most practical advice on career change. Whether you've spent years in your current job, are looking to change industries, or are a young worker trying to find your career path, these tips can help you get started.

Avoid applying for multiple types of jobs simultaneously during your job search. There is no doubt that exploring new career options can be overwhelming.

Yet it is also true that many people apply for too many jobs simultaneously and look unqualified. A work commitment should be made for one position at a time, and you should be able to explain your reasons for changing jobs to demonstrate your commitment. Think about how changes in your current role could benefit the job market, such as having a greater interest in social media, understanding the importance of social media in marketing strategies today, and wanting to consider it a full-time career. Remember to use these ideas in your cover letter and interview.

Create a vision for the future for yourself.

It is not uncommon nowadays for people to freelance for different reasons. So why do you want to freelance? Do you want to turn it into a full-time job, or do you want additional income? Set your goals and motivation. It is essential to write down all the details before you start working. Then, you must list your skills and tools to achieve your goals. Now, you have a clear and precise list of what you need to do in the coming weeks regarding the career change.

Use online job descriptions to define your professional position. 

When applying for positions you want to work for, read the job descriptions carefully and note which skills and qualities are listed as characteristics of the "ideal candidate." To present yourself as the ideal candidate for the position you are applying for, include your qualifications and skills relevant to the position. For example, give examples of teamwork in your current job to demonstrate your ability to collaborate.

Leverage your network.

You have heard this advice a thousand times for one reason and one reason only: it is the best advice you can get. Your connections (friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or family members) can help you get interviews, meet people in different sectors and positions, and make changing careers easier.

Networking is not tricky: Join alumni groups from your university, connect with former colleagues, find groups on LinkedIn or Facebook related to your profession, and reach out to people on LinkedIn or Twitter, even if you don't know many people. Reach out to people in your network who might know someone who can help you and see if they have any suggestions.

It is essential to distinguish between dissatisfaction with your position in your company and dissatisfaction with your profession. 

Identifying what is causing your unhappiness with your job will help you to make a career change. Dissatisfaction with the company culture, workload, and salary are all good reasons to want to change jobs. However, in some cases, it may be better to ask for a change within your current organization rather than a change of position.

To do this, first, make a long-term career plan: What are your options? Are you satisfied with the trajectory of your career? Which features of your organization do you like, and which ones do you see as obstacles to doing your job? 

If you are unhappy or unsatisfied with your chosen career path, that is a different matter. The career path you have chosen should contain passion for you. Motivation and joy are the sources of passion. What you need here is clear guidance. 

It will also help you remember that realizing this is nothing to be ashamed of and that a career change does not mean you failed the first time.

Take into account the current economic conditions.

When making a career change, it is essential to keep your current circumstances in mind. After all, a career change may not always be an ideal option. Think about what you have stopped doing in the past, what you are doing well now, and what you want to achieve. Is your annual performance review coming up?

If you raise your concerns, your manager can suggest how to move forward during this period. Maybe they can help you take on different tasks or change your responsibilities. Be aware of potential obstacles: Will you succeed in your new career path? Do you have a savings account to cover your needs, even temporarily? Does your support system meet your needs?

Make sure you clearly understand where you are before you set off. 

If you are unhappy in your current job, you may be at risk of losing your ability to judge. Keep your emotions in check, don't let them take over your judgment, and protect your logical thought process. Having a plan for what you will do after you leave your job is essential. You may know where you don't want to go, but you should think about where you want to go before you give up on your dream. Consider this if you don't want to be in a difficult situation.

Consider your new path after gaining experience and seeking advice. 

Take time to learn the qualities and skills you need to succeed in your new role. People around you will support your new career path if you are confident. You can also learn different skills by doing research online or volunteering.

Take a moment to consider your 'career savings account.' 

Consider what you have learned in previous jobs to prepare for your current position. A good network, technical skills, character, and readiness will prepare you well for a career change using this formula: Connections + Talent + Character x Hard Work = CSA ( Career Savings Account).

Learning new skills can help you break through a career ceiling.

You may sometimes feel stuck and need new skills to move to the next level in your profession. Identify what skills you have and what you need to develop to move forward. Your current job may be nurturing you in the areas you are good at. But how can you move forward if you lack what you need? What can you do to acquire these skills? Don't let anything stand in your way.

Invest in your change by thinking about your inner qualities. 

Our skills are so ordinary that we often don't think about them. When you recognize these skills, it will be easier to shape your career path and find your next job. For example, we don't always think of generosity, empathy, and being in the moment as career skills, but they can all play an essential role in a career change. Explore using the soft skills you already have in your new career.

Avoid the pitfalls of quitting by creating an action plan. 

In moments when you feel overwhelmed at work and want to drop everything and quit immediately, instead of focusing on your intense emotions, calm down and create an exit strategy. First of all, you should understand your contract and company policy to protect you. This will help you determine the best time to report. Next, explain how you plan to delegate your responsibilities to your employers and teammates. This will prevent a crisis period after you leave.

Build trust with customers.

You can get new business opportunities by referencing your experience from past projects. Send your portfolio to potential employers and contacts. This portfolio will include all your achievements. Through this portfolio and ongoing projects, you can build trust with your clients and create a stable workflow.

Keep your letter of resignation short. 

Don't end your interview or resignation letter on a sour note, and be straightforward. Avoid overly emotional reactions when explaining your decision to leave, and stick to the facts when explaining your reasons. For example, in a resignation letter, you can express your gratitude for the opportunity you have been given; this letter should be short and respectful. In summary, do not blame individuals; thank them before you leave and then move on.

This advice is taken from Tom Geller's Freelancing Foundations, Jon Acuff's Do Over, Aimee Bateman's online course on leaving work the right way, Dr. Dawn Graham's Switching Your Career, and Stacey Gordon's Making a Career Change.

If you are considering a career change or want to chart a new career path, starting a new profession or changing companies can be daunting. If you need guidance, you might be interested in the "Manage Your Career" collection on Bitely! Take a look at Bitely for more.

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