As we discussed last week, there are sound reasons for making a career change. But such an important decision should be handled with care and a thoughtful approach because making a career change will impact a person’s life in significant ways, for years or even decades.
Let these self-evaluation questions guide a wise, purposeful approach toward a new, challenging career.
- What’s not working?
So, maybe you’re burned out and feeling kind of “meh” about your job, but why? First, identifying the root of the issue is essential. Is it your coworkers? Is the boss a jerk? Is it the commute? The hours? Is it the type of work you’re doing? Is the culture of your workplace not a good fit? Is the industry weighing you down?
It’s crucial to nail down the root causes of your discontent so you can avoid the same issues in a new career.
- What do you like about your job?
Determining what you enjoy at work is just as necessary as discerning what’s not working. Is it problem-solving? Maybe the customer service focus? The relationships? The number crunching? Or the hands-on labor? What patterns and rhythms do you thrive on in the workplace?
Knowing what works for you will enable you to make the best possible choices as you consider different career paths.
- What are your core values?
It’s also critical to identify what motivates you, both professionally and personally. For example, do you want your work environment’s culture to closely match your core values, or is that of lesser importance than, say, wages and benefits? Because core values act as both an anchor and a compass throughout our lives, it’s uber significant to consider the role you want your core values to play in your career.
- What are you really looking for?
Knowing you want and need a change isn’t the same as knowing what those changes should be. That requires soul searching and a commitment to gut-level honesty to determine the entirety of what you’re actually looking for in a new career. A higher salary, more flexible hours, or perhaps a shorter commute? Would a slight shift within the same industry suffice, or do you want to move to an entirely new field?
5. What skills do you have?
Now’s the time for a thorough assessment of your skills. How does what you’re doing and what you think you want to do overlap? What skills would you need to learn? What skills do you need to sharpen? Does the new career require a skill set or personality trait that you don’t have?
- Can you afford this right now?
Financially speaking, is now the best time to pursue a career change? Maybe it’s too great of a financial risk at the moment. What about the benefits your family enjoys now versus what you can expect if you branch out into a new field? Take a hard look at the pros and cons. The best-and-worst case scenarios. Do not rely on “I hope” or “probably so.” Get the facts.
At A.R. Mazzotta, we understand the difficulty involved in making career decisions. That’s why we’re prepared to assist you every step of the way. So reach out to our team of staffing specialists today because career choices matter.