How to Plan a Career Change

Change your career to something you love. True enough, choosing a career is never an easy choice. However, following your passion is worth every effort that you put into planning a change in your career. With adequate planning, the switchover can be exciting, motivating, and rejuvenating instead of fraught with worry.

Consider the following strategies as you plan and implement your career change:

  1. Assess your motives. Think of the reasons why you want to change careers. Do you feel underappreciated, underpaid, overworked?  Or you are simply unsatisfied in your current position? If so, dig deeper to discern.  Is your current employer or the career field as a whole the reason for your dissatisfaction?
  • If you discover that the source of your unhappiness is your employer, by all means, change employers.   However, it is not advisable to start an entirely new career. It is much easier to get a job within your current career field than to get your foot in the door of a completely separate career field.
  • If your issue is being underpaid or overworked, it may not be necessary to change employers. Discuss with your supervisor and tell them how your current position is making you feel. You may be able to work out an agreement for a raise, a promotion, or fewer working hours if you are an asset to the company.
  1. Continue your education. In fact, don’t stop learning.  If you’re considering a drastic career change, such as going from being a mortgage loan officer to a career in the medical profession, then you’ll need additional training. More common career changes may require less continued education if any at all. 
  • Consult with an admissions advisor of a local college in order to discern whether any continued education is necessary. If so, discuss scheduling.  Can this be done online, is there tuition assistance, and so on.
  • Search for job postings online which fit the career field you’d like to enter. Generally, the employer or recruiter will list the required education and experience to be considered for the job.
  • In some instances, a certificate may be enough to get your foot into the door of a new career field. For example, courses in cosmetology, HVAC Installation, and carpentry.  This will only require a one-year certificate in most states. If something like this is your passion, you may be able to accommodate a one-year time investment.
  • Consider the possibility that additional training may be all that’s necessary to improve your current career. Perhaps additional education will place you in line for a promotion or more challenging work.
  1. Take it slowly. Hang on to your current paycheck for as long as you can, preferably until you can secure a position with a new employer. Set up interviews while you’re still employed. Then quit only with your current position once you’ve found a new job.
  • You have more bargaining power in terms of salary when you’re currently employed with another company as compared to when you are currently unemployed.
  • Once you’ve secured a position, it may be time to give a two or three-week notice to your current employer. The lengthy notice will further increase the chances of a good recommendation.  In fact, it will prevent them from being surprised when someone calls to confirm a reference.

Considering the state of the current economy, it may seem crazy to plan a career change. However, there are many jobs available for qualified candidates. If you aren’t content in your current position, go and seek the job that makes you happier. Remember, life is too short to continue to spend eight hours per day miserably.

As long as you plan carefully to ensure your family’s security, you’ll land a new career. Perhaps you’d be well served in a career field that will increase your quality of life.