Changing Jobs in Changing Times
Updated: May 5
As we face continuing challenges and changing lifestyles due to COVID-19 and other economic factors, more Americans are questioning whether they should consider new career options. Many people change jobs throughout their careers, in fact, baby boomers are cited as having changed jobs an average of 12 times by age 52, according to a study released last year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Changing jobs is a serious decision frequently driving life changes.
There are several factors to evaluate when considering such a move including compensation, work/life balance, and upward career movement to name only a few. Here are some of the top questions that people choosing to make a career shift typically consider:
Does the career they are considering offer better compensation?
Is the career they are considering leaving too stressful?
Would the change they are evaluating provide better work/life balance?
Are they looking for a new challenge?
Are they no longer passionate about the field that they currently work in?
Of the respondents to Joblist’s survey of job changers 77% of those who made a career change said that they were happier, 75% were more satisfied, 69% more fulfilled, and 65% indicated that they were less stressed!
A plan is crucial in order to successfully implement a career change. The first part of that plan includes getting to know yourself better.
Ask yourself and the people who know you best about the areas in which you excel. There are many free online skills assessments and interest inventories that can help give you a better perspective of how well you match the career you intend to pursue. As part of this process, it’s important to evaluate how your current skills could be beneficial in your new career.
Once you have a good idea of your strengths and preferences, a thorough analysis of the requirements and demands of your target career is in order. Exploring the physical, cognitive, and time demands that are typical in the industry and conducting an informational interview with someone currently working in that field is a great first step. Finding and participating in volunteer activities within the industry you are considering is another excellent approach to help determine if your personality and skills match the career.
With a good understanding of your own capabilities and the requirements of the career under consideration, identify and compile a list of the areas where you may need additional training or experience to be successful in that field. This might include the use of specific tools, formalized education in your area of interest, and/or augmenting soft skills such as organization, prioritization, and conflict resolution.
The final steps before beginning the job search are enhancing your professional network and reviewing and updating your social media.
Expanding your professional network is critical since many successful people are oftentimes also the most connected.
We’ll be discussing this topic in an upcoming post.
With the prevalence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and numerous other social media websites, keep in mind that colleges, employers, and professional contacts will check your media presence in their evaluation process. Take a detailed and critical look at each of your social media profiles and make sure that each reflects the image that you would like to present to a potential employer.
Learning about yourself and the companies that make up your industry of choice, acquiring new skills and enhancing existing strengths, cleaning up social media profiles, and expanding professional networks will lead to new opportunities and a successful career transition.