When you’ve been working in a specific industry or role for a number of years, it can be easy to feel as though you’re stuck on that path But that really doesn’t have to be the case – especially in the modern world, where it’s easy to access training and network with professionals from other industries. This means that, perhaps more than ever before, it can be possible to make a career change no matter how long you’ve been in the workforce.
It’s still something that needs a little thought and care though: simply applying for jobs without a plan probably won’t get the results you’re after. Instead, take these preliminary steps to make sure that you set off on the right foot.
Spend some time evaluating your current role
It’s important to understand exactly what you like or dislike about your current role, as this will help you to evaluate whether a career change is actually what you need. If you find that you enjoy your day to day tasks, but office politics are getting you down then a career change is probably too drastic… maybe you just need a change of scenery.
Make sure you understand the field that you want to move into
That shiny new job in a different industry probably looks pretty exciting – but are you falling in love with the actual role, or what you’ve hyped it up to be? Make sure you take the time to do some thorough research on the tasks that will fill your day-to-day working life. A job may have a glamorous title or not; what really matters is whether you’ll get along with less glamorous reality of what the work entails.
Reach out to people working in your desired role or industry
If you’re able to connect with people already doing the job you’re looking into, then meeting up for a coffee and to pick their brains is probably a good idea. You can find out more about the role, but also what they look for in new hires. Of course, this won’t always be possible, and looking at blogs or articles from industry professionals can be a fine alternative.
Decide if you can afford a pay cut
The final thing to do before you start working towards your new career is give yourself a financial reality check. If you’ve been working your way up the ladder in one career, then you’re probably earning more than a junior salary. It’s important to make sure you understand what rung of the ladder you’ll be on when you enter your new field, and what the average wage is. While some people can make a sideways move into another industry without taking a pay cut, changing your role entirely will probably mean entering at a lower level. This definitely doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but you need to be aware of it and budget accordingly.
So long as you do your research and understand what you’re getting into, we say go for it! A new career can be a great opportunity to re-motivate yourself, and could also boost your earning potential for the future.