GNcareers, from Gulf News

Urge to change career should be taken seriously

Before you take your first step in this direction, you must figure out the road aheadImage Credit: Supplied

Many people who consider changing careers have one common reason: They find their careers unsatisfactory. This dissatisfaction can be because of financial reasons, professional aspirations, social status, or a combination of all of the above factor and more.

Whatever the reason, an urge to change career should be taken seriously. It does take time to get all your ducks in a row and make an actual jump to a new job in a new field. But even if you have been in your current career for many years, it is never too late to make the change. In fact, many people could find it easier — financially and professionally — to make the change later in life when they are not concerned about taking a dip in their income or a lower title.

Before you take your first step in this direction, however, you must figure out the road ahead or even have a detailed road map. A career change doesn’t just mean hoping to land a job in that other career. It could require learning, training, professional networking and financial planning.

You also need to ensure that you have the capacity to do all of the above. A career change is not an easy task if you’re in a stage of life where many other life and family commitments take precedence. That doesn’t mean it is impossible, but it may turn into a demanding endeavour.

Here are a few points to consider:

Get perspective

You may have hit a plateau in your career development, and that is causing you a feeling of disappointment or an urge to find a new adventure. If that is the case, you don’t need a career change, what you actually need is to reboot your current career by changing jobs or aiming for a new role or position.

Similarly, a frustrating job or an employer that doesn’t provide opportunities for professional advancement may be triggering your lack of fulfilment. If that is the case, find how to switch employers or discuss ways to advancement.

This perspective may be hard to come by if you’re immersed in your negative feelings toward the job. If you’ve a trusted person who is familiar

Set a time frame

Knowing that you need a change of career is a good start. Taking actual steps toward achieving this goal can take time, however, based on how close your target career is to your current one. If you are just shifting to an industry that is relevant to what you’re doing with a good set of transferable skills, you switch can be relatively quick and easy. If you’re jumping from accounting to medicine, for example, that is a long, costly and exhausting path.

Regardless to the complexity of your career change, knowing the expected time frame can help you plan for the eventual change and also stay relaxed during the process. You even may make some professional decisions that help you achieve your ultimate goal. For example, you may choose to pass on a promotion and stay with a position that is accommodating for your plans. You may also pause any additional learning or training in your current path, and dedicate your time, effort and money to your future careers. All of these decisions should help you stay on track, financially stable and professionally secure until your career change is complete.

Get a head start

While you’re getting your certification, license, training or anything else that you need for your career change, get a head start on networking. Join industry organisations, attend events and immerse yourself in the new field. This could be awkward at the beginning as your start with nearly no professional circle or affiliation, but if you go over this first obstacle, you probably will be able to find quickly new contacts who may turn into your resource for finding industry jobs, mentoring and insider knowledge.

So make sure that your approach to landing in a new field is multifold: Seek formal training or education as required, build your network professionally and start positioning yourself for future jobs. If you do so, you’re likely to be able to get your first job right within your planned time frame.

Targeting a new career?

* Get proper education and training

* Set a realistic time frame for your transition

* Seek industry knowledge and contacts

* Make decisions that help your future career

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News