Very few people end their working life in the same career they started off in, when they took their very first job out of school. The good news is that this means there’s less social pressure to stay on a path that’s no longer satisfying. The bad news, of course, is that change is never easy. Here’s what to avoid, if you’re thinking of making the leap.
1. Jumping without doing your research.
If you’re contemplating a parallel move to a similar industry, you might not need to invest years in education and certification to change careers. But that doesn’t mean you should look before you leap.
Read up on the industry itself, paying attention to the major employers in the space and their news over the past few years. Follow big companies and major industry figures on Twitter and other social media outlets, to get their take on breaking news and see how they interact with clients.
2. Forgetting about the human factor.
When you meet people who love their jobs, and you’ll notice that they all have one thing in common: the folks in their industry are kindred spirits, with similar values and interests, both inside and outside of work.
Talk to people doing the job in question. Pay close attention to things like typical corporate culture and values.
3. Choosing a new career based solely on occupational outlook.
“It’s great to pick a career that has a great job outlook or pays well,” writes Dawn Rosenberg McKay of About.com’s Career Planning site. “If it’s not suitable for you, in terms of your personality type, interests, values and aptitudes, however, you do not have a good chance of succeeding in it or being satisfied with it. Before you commit to pursuing any career, it is essential to make sure it’s a good match for you.”
McKay advises prospective career changers to conduct a self assessment to determine what’s important to you in a job and which needs your career should satisfy over time. She links to several free assessments in the overview on her site.
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