4 Questions to Consider Before Changing Careers

By Career Savvy

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If you no longer feel passionate about your work and the effort to go in each day is becoming harder and harder, you may be considering a change of career. Although this could well be the answer to improving your career prospects and gaining job satisfaction, there are many factors you must consider before making such a big decision. To make sure you don’t take a leap of faith too prematurely, here are Career Savvy’s four questions to ask yourself before changing careers.

Why are you unhappy?
Before you start looking into your career change options, you need to understand exactly what it is about your current role that is causing you to feel demotivated and dissatisfied. Is it the people you work with? Your pay? Or the projects you’re involved in? By understanding exactly what it is you’re not enjoying, you can prevent finding yourself in the same if not a worse situation once the excitement of a new job subsides.

What are you looking for?
Now you’ve determined what you dislike about your current role, is there anything you still enjoy? Whether it’s the benefits package, the opportunity to work out of the office or a teamwork-focused environment, consider how important these aspects are to you. Are you willing to leave them behind or will you be looking for them during your job search? Think about what your dream job would entail on a daily basis and make a note of the tasks you’re searching for in your new role. This will help you determine the jobs you should be applying for in order to increase your level of job satisfaction in your next position. Do any of your hobbies/interests lend themselves to a career? If so, this is a great way to find a role you’ll feel more passionate about. 

What are your options?
So, you know why you’re unhappy and what you’re looking for, now it’s time to determine what sort of career change you can take – it may not be as extreme as you first thought. Unless your reasons are directly related to the work you’re completing on a daily basis, you may find other ways of changing your career more viable than uprooting it completely. For instance, consider the following:
• The same role in a different sector (such as moving from private to public).
• Another job in the same sector (especially if the problem resides with your co-workers rather than the role itself).
• Adapt your current role (such as moving sideways, taking on a new project, switching to a part-time position, etc.).
It’s important to take your time and consider the possibilities before making your final decision in order to give yourself the best chance of a successful career change. Decide on the option that best suits your career aspirations and explore how you can achieve it.

What skills do you need?
If you decide to move to a different sector it’s crucial that you research it thoroughly in order to understand the role you’re going to be applying for and what skills you’ll need to develop. To find out exactly what you need to succeed in the industry and whether you’re truly suited to it, talk to those already working in the field you’re interested in. Scour through your network and find contacts who can provide you with a detailed and honest depiction of what the industry and role you’re looking for entails. They can suggest skills you need to work on and highlight those that will transfer well into your new industry/position. As a result, you will be well-prepared before you even start your job search. This will increase your chances of a successful career change, as well as reassure you before you make such a big, life-changing decision. 

So if you’re dissatisfied in your current role and contemplating a career change, consider these four questions before you make any hasty decisions. They will help you to determine exactly what needs to change in your career and how you can go about achieving this with the best possible chance of you achieving success at the end of the road. For information on the different sectors you could consider moving to, click to see our regular feature ‘How to Get Into...’


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