5 things to consider before switching career fields

Category: Career

Business people at a job interview. Mature businessman is congratulating his colleague on getting a job.

If you’re unhappy with your current line of work, you may be seriously contemplating a career field switch. If you don’t know how to begin or what steps to take, consider the following: 

Have enough saved up

Ideally, you’ll want to transition to a new job right after leaving your current job. A gap between two jobs can last a long time, and you may turn to risky loans and other means as a way to get by. Sometimes, making a radical career change might mean taking a break from working in order to focus on training for an entirely new skill that you’re unfamiliar with currently. Then, of course, there’s finding that new job once you’re ready. This is how having a good amount of money saved up can help. Changing careers can be very rewarding, but you also want to prepare for any obstacles you may face. You’ll want to have enough money to take care of your expenses for a while, in case it takes you a long time to find work again.

Figure out what you want to do

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s a saying you may be familiar with, and if you’re unhappy with your current job, you have to ask yourself why. Is it the pay, the working conditions, or the actual work itself? If you like what you do, but are unhappy with your current employer, a complete career switch may not be the solution. However, if you just don’t like the type of work you do, think about what you would enjoy. Think about what makes you smile and what would type of job you’d look forward to waking up for. By thinking about what you actually enjoy doing, you can begin to explore the options for the different career fields that could be a great match for you.

People in your network

Maybe you have no idea what you want to do, and that’s okay. With that being said, it’s important to figure out what you don’t want to, which likely includes the current field you’re working in. By figuring out what you don’t want to do, you can begin to narrow down your choices. Begin connecting with people in your network, including friends, family, former classmates, and so on. Find out what they’re up to and if they know of any current job openings. You may be able to find your new career this way, or at the very least, get some ideas as to what’s out there and what could potentially be a good fit for you.

Skills and training

Picking something that you’ll enjoy doing is important, in addition to focusing on your best skills and putting them to use. For example, maybe you’re currently an accountant, but you have a lot of creative skills that you’d like to focus on, so you may want to begin exploring different options for careers that are ideal for creative people. Depending on what you decide on and your current level of education, you may need to take some classes or enroll in college. Whether you need to attend college for the first time, obtain an advanced degree, or get some technical training, find out what it is exactly that you’ll need in order to be eligible for the career field you’re interested in. You’ll also need to consider the money and time it will take to receive any necessary training.

Gaining experience

If you don’t have any experience at all in the new career field you want to work in, you’ll likely have to start from the bottom and work your way up. This is also why it is very important to have money saved up before you make a big career change. You may have to accept an entry-level position, which may not offer the same pay that you had at your previous job. You may even need to accept an unpaid internship, depending on what the field is you’re interested in, and how competitive that job market is.


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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.


Tags: education, networking, saving

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