5 Reasons to Consider Changing Your Career

career-change

Think about how your career is going. Think about where you’re at and where you ideally want to be. Don’t settle. Loving what you do doesn’t have to be merely a day dream. That desk job you may have doesn’t have to be your life. If you feel a change in your career is necessary, take the steps to make it happen. These are some things to consider when wondering if you need to get a new a job:

1. You Fell into Your Current Career

For some of us, our career choice wasn’t really a choice at all. Perhaps a family member helped you get a job because you just needed to pay the bills. Or maybe you landed your job because of a particular skill you have, but you can’t see yourself doing it for the next 20 years.

If your career is the result of a series of random twists and turns rather than something you consciously pursued, it’s worth thinking about whether it’s really suited to you — or if there might be something better out there. Consider taking a career test to assess your personality and interests and identify careers you’d enjoy. Also, figure out what transferable skills you already have and determine those you need to acquire. What excites you and brings you joy? Can you see yourself turning it into a meaningful career?

2. A Life Change Has Sparked a New Interest

Major life-changing events can change our perspective and cause us to reevaluate our choices. But you don’t have to wait for the birth of a child or a marriage proposal to shake things up — lots of everyday experiences can lead to life-altering shifts in our priorities, too. For example, the puppy your roommate adopted might inspire you to work at an animal shelter. You might make a friend in a different department in your company and realize you want to learn more about what she does. A vacation overseas could get you thinking about a career that lets you live abroad.

Pay attention to the encounters or changes in your life that trigger an interest in pursuing something new. They might just be signs that you should try out a new path.

3. The Job Outlook in Your Field Has Worsened

It happens a lot these days: Prospects in your field once seemed plentiful, but changes in technology or the economy have limited your opportunities. If this is the case, it’s not only an option to find an occupation with a better forecast — it’s probably a good idea.

Consider a profession that fits your personality and skills, but also research the labor market to see if you’ll be able to build a new career in your chosen field over time. (For example, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is projected to nearly double by 2030 — so nurses, physician’s assistants or other healthcare professionals and administrators will be seriously in demand for the foreseeable future.)

Find out which industries employ people in the jobs that interest you, what training you need to become qualified and whether there will be opportunities in this field after you’ve completed that training.

4. You’ve Developed an Interest in an Evolving Field

On the flip side, environmental concerns and changes in technology have created jobs and professions in industries that didn’t exist a few years ago — think environmental consulting, alternative power, social media management, and app development.

Do you see yourself as a pioneer in one of these new and evolving industries? If so, don’t be afraid to make a change. While many of these fields require new skills, you can often combine your existing experience with some updated training to succeed in new fields. For example, if you’re skilled in project management, getting some technical know-how would make you a great candidate for product management roles at tech start-ups.

5. Your Current Career Isn’t Aligned With Your Core Values

Core values are the important beliefs and conventions that guide the way you live your life. Values such as altruism, intellectual stimulation, leadership and creativity affect how you make decisions and how you interact with others — both at work and at home. They’re also a significant factor in job and career satisfaction; it can be difficult to be happy at work when you’re not living out the principles that are important to your life.

Take some time to understand what your own values are and whether your current career path is letting you live them. For example, is your sales job giving you the creative fulfillment you imagined for your life? Will your client services gig offer the leadership potential you crave? In the long run, a career path that’s closely aligned with your values is the key to professional fulfillment, so if you’re not sure about the path you’re heading down, it’s worth considering a change.

Shifting gears in your career — especially if you’ve been working in the same field for a long time — isn’t easy, and it’s never immediate. But do know that, these days, career paths are rarely linear. And no matter what your reason for looking, the right career is out there for you. Research your options, evaluate your strengths, learn new skills, and fortify your resolve to make change, and you’ll find the path that’s right for you.

 (via Mashable | image via Commebank)