If you’re a working professional, the path to your perfect career is hardly a straight line. From the initial uncertain years in college, to mid-career shifts, people rarely stay in the same career their entire lives. Especially now, where our connected world makes it possible to pick up new skills and discover more interests easier than ever the average time we spend in one particular job is decreasing.
In fact, a reported 71% of the American workforce is looking to switch jobs. So if you have at least 4 coworkers, chances are that 3 of them are looking to make the leap to a new job. Should you be one of them?
It can feel intimidating to consider moving jobs, or making a total career change. It can come with a major adjustment period, both in your workload and your finances. Plus, you can’t be sure that you’ll like your new career or job. Yet for many, the fears are outweighed by the benefits of switching.
Often, the best way to move up the ladder or get a significant raise is to switch jobs. Or if you’re considering a move to entrepreneurship — you could stand to make more for yourself than you ever have.
So if you find yourself among the 63% of workers who say their job causes them to drink and cry regularly, don’t hold yourself back. While your job should challenge you to learn and grow, it shouldn’t make you so unhappy that you’re resorting to unhealthy behaviors.
Here are some tips to help your transition to your new job be as seamless as possible:
Do your research: You’ll definitely want to get familiar with the field you’re looking to move to before you make the leap. Make sure that you’re reasonably qualified for the roles you’re interested in, and understand where the field is headed. You don’t want to waste time learning a skill that the industry is moving away from. Do your best to understand the primary needs of a professional in your desired industry by reading up on job listings online.
Develop your skills: Once you’ve determined which skills you’ll need to be successful in another role, it’s time to go about brushing up on them. This is where many professionals lose motivation. Going back to school and getting a degree is a huge commitment — that you don’t have to make. Many times a certification can increase your chances of landing your employment without too much additional work. Also try volunteering your skills for free or at a reduced fee to friends or companies looking for a freelancer.
Network: No matter the industry or your skills, having a connection will always be helpful. Go to networking events, and genuinely connect with people there. Conferences can also be a great way to meet people in a more casual environment.
Get your finances in check: There’s a good chance that you’ll need to take a pay cut in order to start fresh in a new career. Even if this is not the case, having a safety net of at least three months expenses is recommended in case anything were to happen with your new job. If you’re already living with little room in your budget, you may want to consider downsizing your home or car payments to give you the freedom to chase what will really make you happy. While things are fun to buy, the work you do day to day will have a much more positive impact on your life.
You may still be wondering: Can I make the leap? Is it worth it? If you’re still on the fence, or just need that extra push, check out this handy flowchart by Turbo that can help you decide if you’re ready for a career change.