Your father would give you timeless advice when it comes to whether or not you should switch jobs because he has your best interests in mind; he wants a safe and secure future for his child. Switching a job or career path is no simple task. There’s a lot at stake, and just as your father would recommend, you must be thorough when you explore a new job. Usually it will require an investment in both your money and time, so it’s best to take your time and be prepared before making the switch.
First, is a Job Change What You Need?
Before going over the other steps to make a successful career change, you should be absolutely sure that a career change is what you need and not just a new job. If you’re in a job that isn’t challenging, isn’t fun, or isn’t going anywhere, but you enjoy the possibilities and purpose within your industry, you should look for a different job rather than a new career.
However, if your industry doesn’t excite and motivate you like before, it could be time to make a career change. To make the switch as successful as possible, follow certain steps to minimize risk and maximize your potential.
Steps to Make a Successful Job Switch
Conduct a Self-Assessment
The first step in switching jobs is to thoroughly assess your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and passions. The more you learn about yourself and your career aspirations, the clearer idea you will have as to which career is right for you. Tools like career tests are often free and they include personality assessments as well. You might also consider the help of a career development professional if you want to have a dialogue with someone other than a friend or family member.
Explore Career Options
Once you complete the career tests or assessments, you will receive a list of career options that fit your personality and interests. Take time to do research on each option. Even starting with simple Google and Wikipedia research is helpful.
After this initial research, narrow your list and set up informational interviews with local companies. Research is extremely important. To jump into a new job without an understanding of the industry is a huge risk and also very ignorant.
Set Goals – Big & Small
Once you choose the new job or career path you want to take it’s time to set some goals! It’s good to set a big picture goal, but you also want to include smaller goals that are short term and very specific. Base your goals on the research you conducted and these should serve as realistic benchmarks along the way.
Make an Action Plan
Creating a plan is a great idea as well. Making a thorough plan of action would make your father beam with pride. You should assign dates to your action plan so that your job change is seamless and you are prepared for as many events as possible, like lapses in pay and scheduled trainings.
Train for New Career
If it’s at all possible, before making your switch, you should try to get some training in your new field. This will help you get a realistic taste of what career you’re moving to and help reassure you of any doubts. You should have this experience before you put in any resignation.