Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Change Career

Changing your career path from one with which you have years of experience to something completely different and new can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking challenge. There are so many aspects to take into consideration before making such a life-changing decision, especially if you have a family and people who depend on you and your income. This doesn’t mean you can’t live your own life and make your own choices, but it is important to be aware of every angle when deciding to make such a huge change. Take a look at some of these questions you should ask yourself while beginning the process of changing your career path.

Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?

First of all, it is vital that you know exactly why you want to leave the job you are currently in. This is because the job market is incredibly competitive, and if you have a family to support, being able to provide a sufficient stream of income is a high priority. There is nothing wrong with feeling dissatisfied with your current position and wanting to seek a change, but make sure these reasons are ones you will be able to find solutions for in a new role before handing in your notice. A few examples of reasons you might want to leave your job include:

  • Disliking the management structure and finding it difficult to communicate effectively with your employer;
  • Knowing that your talents are not being fully utilized in your current role;
  • Finding it difficult to cope with particular coworkers or clients;
  • Being dissatisfied with the rate of pay and level of work or number of hours.

There are many other valid reasons you might want to shift careers, but the above are some of the most common examples. If possible, wait until you have secured your next job or have found an alternative way to provide for your dependents before giving your boss your resignation letter.

What Job Do You Want?

When you are sure that leaving your current job is the right decision for you, it is time to consider what you want to do next. Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to retrain and join a new career path in a different industry? Do you want to find job opportunities that invite you and your family to live overseas? Consider your priorities when it comes to job satisfaction, wages, and work-life balance. Avoid the temptation to rush into a new job that doesn’t meet your needs unless you see it as a clear stepping stone to something more.

Are You Qualified?

Once you know what kind of job you want to look for after leaving your old one, think about what skills and qualifications you might need in order to successfully land your dream role. For example, you can look for accelerated nursing programs as part of your career journey to become a nurse, or take classes that improve your coding skills if you want to become a web designer. Perhaps you already have some qualifications that will be relevant to your new line of work. Even if your previous roles were very different from what you plan to look for next, you will certainly have valuable transferable skills from your past job experiences. Where possible, find ways to enhance these skills and tailor them to the roles you hope to apply for. Look for opportunities to volunteer where you can learn useful abilities that a potential employer might see as an asset.

What Changes Will You Need to Make to Your Lifestyle?

Changing your career path is a big life decision that affects not only your professional life but also your personal life and family life. When making these important choices, consider how your future decisions might affect your daily lifestyle and the lives of your dependents. Will your new chosen field allow you more time to play with your kids after work? Do you hope to have a shorter commute that will let you get more restful sleep? Or will your career change bring more structure to your routine and demand longer hours for greater pay? Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages to find out what you are willing to compromise on. Your new role could involve very different work patterns or maybe even a change of location. It’s all about knowing which changes you are prepared to make and which ones you aren’t. This will help you narrow down your job search to find a role that suits not only your talents but also your desired lifestyle. Here are some important factors to bear in mind:

  • How many hours are you willing to work per week?
  • How flexible or consistent would you like your work pattern to be?
  • What income do you require and expect from a new role?
  • Would you prefer not to commute to work?
  • Do you hope for promotion within the industry?

How Will a Career Change Affect Your Family?

While it is important to remain an autonomous and independent adult even with a family, you should still take into consideration the impact a career change might have on those you live with and who might depend on your income. Perhaps you are making this career move in order to earn more money with which to provide your family with a better lifestyle, or maybe you need to take a chance on a new job in order to feel more personally fulfilled. There is nothing selfish about wanting the best for yourself; just make sure that you adequately consider the needs of your family in the process. This might mean thinking about simple adjustments, such as who will drive the kids to school, but it could also mean researching new schools if your job takes you all to a different location.

Changing your career path is rarely a simple task. The time it takes to qualify, apply, and interview for new roles can feel endless, but it is worth making these changes in order to bring greater satisfaction and purpose to your life.