“What do you want to be when you grow up?” An innocent question that informed our subconscious that there is only one path to take in adult careers. Once upon a time, this was the way adults did things and making a career change was rare and carried a certain stigma. That was yesterday.
Generation X (born between 1965 through the late 70s) is often credited for the trend of changing career paths, as they tend to have 3-12 career changes in their lives, whereas their older counterparts tended to stay in their respective careers for 40+ years. Millennials (born in the early 80s through 2000) average a career shift every 3 years according to the Wall Street Journal.
These days, career changes are much more common and sometimes even encouraged to have a well-rounded experience. Are you thinking of a pivot? Here are some things to consider.
Here are some things to consider for a career change.
• What are you good at?
Think about your existing skillset and explore industries where they will be useful. Should you explore those careers and realise you need additional experience or training, do the research and consider a continuing educational path.
• What do you enjoy doing?
Change careers because you genuinely want to and you have your eyes on a prize. Moving jobs because you’ve grown to dislike your current one may just be a situational issue. Observe where your mind tends to drift off and perhaps there is a career path that will lead you to a truly fulfilling way to spend your days.
• Expect a shift in salary.
With any changing role, you may experience a temporary drop in salary, especially at first. It’s important to realise that there is a grace period where you might have to reprioritise your way of life to explore a new career.
• Do the research
Talk to people in the field you’re interested in and get to know the nitty-gritty of how they spend their days. What may seem glamorous and exciting on paper may not show the realities of the job. Make sure you do your due diligence to prevent any unexpected disappointment.
At the end of the day, feel confident in knowing that it’s never too late to take the leap or jump back if it doesn’t work the way you wanted it to. Don’t fear the change, fear the regret of never having tried.