Some professionals find themselves unhappy in their career. Many felt secure with their declared majors in college and graduating into a real career. After several years, they feel dissatisfied, confused or unfulfilled by their chosen path.
However, it is never too late to switch careers. With some planning and foresight, you can forge a new beginning at any age by following a few steps.
Determine if a Career Change is the Right Move
- Unhappiness can come from many sources, and a job may seem like the reason. However, five specific signs will help you determine if the career is indeed the source of the discontent:
- Feeling tired or sick frequently from a toxic, stressful work environment.
- Taking no enjoyment in any tasks at work.
- Holding onto a job solely for the salary.
- Feeling that your skills and talents can be used in a more meaningful way.
- Questioning whether your choices were propelled by your ego or a need to meet other’s expectations.
Making the Change
Career changes can happen in one’s 20s, 30s, and 40s or beyond. Many college graduates choose careers completely unrelated to their degree, sometimes by discovering a different passion and sometimes by options in the job market. If you have had more fulfillment at a part-time job, hobby or internship, you can pursue those passions and still build a strong career.
Many options exist for career changers. Going back to school to pursue a new degree or certification can be a step forward in the new direction, or accepting an internship if the budget allows can open many doors to a new job while gaining practical experience.
List the Pros and Cons
When considering a career change, take time to list the pros and cons of your current and prospective job. By taking a realistic look, you can avoid the disappointment of unrealized expectations. For instance, someone passionate about justice may become a lawyer without first considering the cost of law school and the occasional tedium of the job.
Switching careers can be difficult, frightening and full of uncertainty. However, if you are not happy, dislike your job and know that you have desire to accomplish greater things, then the risks will be worth the reward.