If you think it’s too late to change careers, think again. If you’re drudging through your current job, listlessly collecting a paycheck, daydreaming of a career you could actually get excited about, it’s time to think about making the switch! Once you decide that you definitely want a career change, you have to consider when you should make it happen. Here are some things to think about when deciding if now is the right time to make the leap.
Do you hate your job, or just your career?
Before changing careers, it’s important to make sure that you’re truly unhappy with your current occupation. Do you dislike your actual career, or are you just mired down in a negative work environment? Think about continuing your current career in a different space with different co-workers. Would you still be unhappy and unfulfilled? If your answer is a definitive yes, then you’re ready to change careers. If you’re not sure, it might be wise to try looking for a new job in the same field and test the waters.
Are you prepared to make some sacrifices?
Changing careers has the potential to be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some consequences. A career switch often entails taking classes or entering a training program, which will mean a tight schedule and whole lot less free time. It might mean taking a pay cut, as you’ll be starting at the bottom of the totem pole in your new line of work. It also means sacrificing all the connections, benefits, familiarity and perks of your old career. When you embark on a new career, you’re starting fresh, which can be pretty scary. If you know all these things and still feel like it’s time for something new, you’re probably ready to make the switch and choose a new career path.
Do you have a plan?
Changing careers is not something you can just delve into on a whim. If you want to pull it off, you’re going to have to have a plan. Your plan should have every facet of the career change experience mapped out. You’ll need to consider what training program is right for you, and whether you’ll be able to complete it and stay afloat financially. This might sound daunting, but there are a wide variety of programs that can be completed in less than a year or two. For example, if you’ve always loved helping people and dreamt of working in the medical field, a career as a medical assistant or registered nurse could suit you very well.
Another thing to take into account when planning the switch is the impact that it will have on your family and friends. Do they understand and support your decision? Are they willing to make some sacrifices as well? You’re going to want a support network as you make this important but potentially overwhelming change.
What are the job prospects for your new career?
If you’re thinking of leaving your current job, you’ll be giving up steady income and leaping into the unknown, a particularly frightening concept in today’s economy. It’s a good idea to check out the job prospects of your potential future career before jumping in. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers information about nearly every single career, including projected growth over the next decade. You can use this information to help you hone in on a new job that is not only fulfilling but has impressive prospects as well.
Sandra Mills is a writer who is passionate about education and career advancement tips. She enjoys writing on topics in the fields of healthcare and technology, and is currently focused on medical assisting and other healthcare training programs.