Switching Careers

English: The Career Information Center at Port...

Sometime in your life, you might decide that your current career is leading nowhere, or you might just be tired of doing the same old thing and feel that something better is waiting to be explored. Whatever your reasons for making a change in your career, it is important to take things into consideration.

1. Pay Increase or Pay Cut: Will your career change lead to a pay increase or a pay cut? It is important to consider this option in order to plan for your budget. If you have debts or any recurring payments such as a mortgage, car payments, cell phone bills, etc., you would need to know that you would still be able to afford these luxuries.

2. Location: Will you have to move in order to make the career change? This is another question that you have to take into consideration. Some people can move within their companies to do different things, others might have to physically move to a new company to make the change. Due to an increase in gas prices, being located near your principal place of business is important. If you are close to your job, you can easily save on gas.

3. Finding the right career: Have you done your research as to what career your want to change to? Do you know what will make you happy? Finding the right career is important to being happy and staying at a particular company. It is important to find a job that you will enjoy; otherwise you will just end up switching companies or switching careers all over again. When asked the question “What’s more important, the job or the money?” how would you answer?

4. Skills: What skills do you have that can be useful to your new career? Most soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills will always be useful to a company. Any managerial skills and technical skills will definitely help out as well. Being in the 21st century, technical skills can definitely be useful in almost every type of career you may decide to switch to.

5. Education, Training, and Certifications: Will your new career lead to more education and training? How much time and money will it take to get to where you want to be? Like most jobs, you learn by doing. But with other jobs, you may need to get more education, training, and certifications in order to get you to where you want to be. With some careers, you may be able to easily pick up on the daily activities, other careers you may need to get some professional training and/or certifications in order to get considered for the position. Whatever the case may be, be sure to research what is in demand for that particular career.

6. Using your contacts / Networking: The best possible way to find your new career is to utilize your contacts. The people that you know may be the very people that can put in a good word for you or to give you advice as to what you should do or what industry you should get into. Other ways to broaden your network is to join different organizations or associations. If possible and available, go through your alumni association.

These are some helpful tips for you to consider before switching careers. Always remember that the choices that you make can either break or make you. Be bold and take risks. If you are unhappy with where you’re at, do something about. Otherwise you may end up asking yourself “what if…?” This way you’ll know that at least you tried.


Are you finally ready to move on with your life? While it may sometimes feel like you are the only one in the world trying to change your plans, the average jobseeker actually changes careers seven times during his or her lifetime. That’s good news because at least you know that other people have successfully made career changes.

So what are the options for successfully making the transition?

Option 1: This option is to stay at your current job while you carry out volunteer work to gain the appropriate work experience. You may have to do such work on weekends, during the evenings or from home by special arrangement. Most small businesses do welcome those who can do volunteer work.

Option 2: Another option is to move to the new company and field and continue doing your normal job role. In doing so, you can carry out work that you feel comfortable with while taking stock of the new environment. This will give you valuable exposure to the new job so that you can informally initiate and be proactive at assisting and helping out in any capacity within that job role.

Option 3: In some professions, it is impossible to successfully make the transition without first re-training. This often involves acquiring professional qualifications. Never dive into the first training option that comes your way but rather do thorough research to ensure that you end up selecting the very best option available to you.

Option 4: According to our research, many career changers have decided to forgo working only one job in favor of taking on multiple jobs. You may want to consider whether you want to be part of this growing trend and increase both the pay and flexibility of your lifestyle.

Working Through Your Options: Selecting an appropriate option or options boils down to what kind of career change you are after and the level of flexibility provided by that industry. It is critical, therefore, to research and weigh what option will best serve your purpose by realistically evaluating your personal, social and financial commitments. You may discover in the process that, for instance, the fastest option is not the best suited to you due to certain obligations; you may need to pace or stagger the transition. Be realistic and set sensible goals that will not frustrate your career change efforts.

The bottom line is this: no matter what your circumstances and commitments, you can achieve your career change goal. Just be patient: it may take a little bit longer than you may have anticipated. To keep things moving as efficiently as they can, start acquiring the skills you need to begin working on your career change today. To test how good your current job market skills are, start by taking this FREE Job Market Performance Assessment.

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