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Career Change: Benefits & How To Change Your Career Path

Author: Emma Williams
Author: Emma Williams

Chief Research Officer at HIGH5

Table of Contents
Stop guessing your natural talents. Find out your strengths now.

A career change is a big decision because it includes so many things. You have to consider your personal and professional goals, education level, budget constraints, and other factors before you make a change in career direction.

If you want to transition into a different career field, several steps can help make the process easier for you.

In this blog post, we will speak about the benefits of a casual change and consider things such as the right time to change periods and much more. Let’s get right into it.

Why Do People Change Careers?

There are several reasons why nowadays, a bunch of people decide to change careers.

For instance, you may be bored in your current job and need a change of pace or you might feel that your work is not satisfying anymore.

Perhaps you have found another opportunity where you can utilize your soft skills or hard skills, and personal talents more effectively.

The reason why you decide to change your career may be unique to you, but whatever the reason, people who make this decision are usually happier – if they do it for the right reasons.

How To Change Your Career Path? 5 Tips

Here are the steps to follow if you want to have a successful career change.

1. Follow Your Gut

As cliché as it sounds, following your gut should be one of the first things you do when considering a career change.

Follow your intuition to figure out which path is truly right for you.

If at first something or someone doesn’t feel right, then don’t pursue it and think about changing jobs or even careers instead (you can find here the differences between a job and a career).

Your inner voice will tell you if something feels off and whether there’s no point in continuing with that particular job/path.

2. Focus Your Job Search

You might have a gut feeling about what type of work would suit you best, but this isn’t always the case for everyone.

It’s important to narrow down your search to make sure you’re not applying for jobs that are irrelevant to you.

That being said, be prepared to apply for a wide variety of them to see what works best and fits into your career plan. If you are unsure about your options, consider taking a professional career assessment to get some ideas.

3. Whip Your Resume Into Shape

If you don’t have any professional experience in your desired field then it’s going to be hard to get an entry-level job there (but not impossible).

You might want to consider volunteering or interning as a way to gain relevant experience that could put you ahead of the pack. Also, make sure your resume is up-to-date and error-free before applying anywhere (more on this later).

Make certain that all the information listed on your resume is accurate including contact information, past positions held, education history, etc. Do not forget to add your strengths to a CV.

When employers search prospective candidates’ backgrounds via Google search they expect accuracy; if they find a discrepancy it could make them question your trustworthiness.

4. Network, Network, Network

You will also need to network to get your desired career. If you don’t already have connections in the industry then attend networking events and create business relationships with people who do work or are currently working in an area that interests you.

Make sure to keep up these contacts over time; they’ll come in handy when you begin applying for work as well as if you want to switch jobs in the future.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Apply

There’s a chance that all of this prep work might not pay off and that no matter what job opportunities arise, they won’t be right for you. If that’s the case, don’t despair.

You can always try again later and keep trying until you find something that works.

Just remember that if you already did all of this work then it means your gut was telling you there’s a chance of making a successful career switch.

When is the Right Time for a Career Change?

The right time to change your career is the time when your present job is causing you distress and you feel dissatisfied with it.

If this is not the case, then there might not be a true need to change jobs just yet. Many factors influence this decision such as health, family status, financial stress, and social life.

Whatever the reason may be, if you’re seeking a career change for any of the reasons listed below then take action immediately.

1.) Health – If your mental health has declined because of your work environment or maybe even due to your lack of motivation, it’s pretty normal to want out sooner rather than later.

2.) Family – If you have a family, then your work-life balance needs to be adjusted and must take a backseat to that of your family responsibilities and vice versa. Sometimes this can mean changing jobs if the hours aren’t convenient for you anymore or maybe moving to another city since it’s out of state.

3.) Financial Stress While some people might not mind working long days, others find themselves in need of more money which is fair enough since everyone deserves enough to live off. This leads them to stress because they see no way out.

When is the Right Time for a Career Change

4.) Social Life – One of the most important factors that influence career changes is your social life; if you don’t like the people around you or even your boss since he’s always been rude towards you, then there’s no point in staying at your current job.

5.) Back to School – Some people see switching careers as an opportunity to learn new things and push oneself forward to be better than before.

6.) Pursue What You Love – This is by far one of the biggest reasons most career switchers provide as an answer when asked about their reason for switching careers – pursuing what they love the most.

7 Benefits of Changing Your Career Path

Do not let your emotions and options overwhelm you and cause you trouble when making important decisions.

The following tips will help you set and reach almost any long-term goal you wish, no matter how impactful and life-altering it may be.

1. Money

Work is all about money and financial stability. A career change (or even a career pivot) will result in a higher pay rate than your previous job offered.

It’s important not just for you but also for your family that a career change would help them become more secure financially; therefore it is beneficial to put yourself in a situation where you can generate a higher income.

2. Further Education

Changing careers means you’ve got to educate yourself on relevant skills and knowledge related to the work you’re applying to do.

Doing an internship or taking classes can help you get ahead of others. This could lead you to land your dream job soon after since employers tend to like to see that you’re motivated and willing to invest in yourself (read more on career planning).

3. Starting a New Company

You can start a new company, which might just be what you need to spark a change in your life.

Whatever your plans are for the future, if you want them to come to fruition then they must involve taking some action on your part.

Find some way of making money online like affiliate marketing so that you have an asset and passive income stream when transitioning into a new career without needing to take out high-interest loans or blow through all your savings just so you don’t starve.

4. Greater Work-Life Balance

If work is not fulfilling anymore or you’re not enjoying your job, it’s similar to a dead-end relationship.

You need to find balance in life and being in a career that you love does just that.

Moreover, most people have a lot of things going on outside of work, such as friends and family, hobbies, exercise, etc. So why not choose a career that will allow you to spend more time with all the people in your life who matter most?

5. Learn Something New

If you think about careers as ways to learn something new then by definition it will be interesting and even fun.

Let’s say you’re an accountant but maybe after doing this for years, your itch for knowledge leads you towards some other source of information.

This can lead to acquiring skills in another field such as sales or marketing which are valuable no matter where you work next – these skills can transfer over easily across industries.

6. Keep Sharpening Your Skills

Every job requires a different set of skills so if you stay within the same career you can miss out on other opportunities because sharpening your skills is one of the advantages of a career change (read more on career growth).

7. Higher Self-Esteem

Changing jobs is just one way to boost self-esteem but there are more ways of doing this; you can volunteer at an organization that helps others or maybe even just go hiking and watch the sunset once in a while.

There are tons of things you can do to make yourself feel good about who you are and how you handle the world.

All this being said, it’s time that you consider a career change if any of these apply to you; your job is boring, dull, or not meaningful anymore, or even if your skills are outdated compared to others in your field.

Reasons Why You Desire a Career Shift

1. Do you feel constantly worn out, depleted, and exhausted working in your current career?

When we’re doing the same type of work for a long time – especially when it doesn’t align with our career goals or values – it takes a toll on our mental and physical health.

Sometimes what’s most important is not how many hours we put in at the office but whether we enjoy every part of our jobs.

Liking what you do is imperative to staying healthy physically and mentally.

If you’ve been feeling this way consistently for months – or even years – then it might be a good idea for you to explore other job options. You could find something that fits your interests better elsewhere.

2. Is your current work situation not what you want to do for the rest of your life?

The key to being happy at work is finding a job that fits your personality and goals.

Do you want to create something from scratch, help people with their financial problems, or simply be creative for a living?

The best way to discover what you care about is by trying different jobs and seeing which ones make you feel fulfilled.

Take advantage of seasonal employment opportunities like retail and hospitality. It’s a great way to get acquainted with various industries without making any permanent major career commitments.

3. Is money no longer compensating for the emptiness and boredom you experience in your current career?

If finances are getting in the way of happiness – even if there’s more than enough coming in – then it might be time to find a new career.

Money can buy happiness and security, but it’s not the only path towards happiness – and it won’t be enough if you don’t enjoy what you do either.

So if your current job is making you miserable on purpose, then stop giving your time to an employer who doesn’t appreciate you.

Will a Career Change Make Me Happy?

This is a tough question, but we all want to be happy in our jobs. You’ll never know if you won’t try.

It’s important to take some time for introspection before deciding anything, and then letting your decision inform your actions.

Can I Change my Career at 40?

Yes. At this stage of life, it can be easier than ever before because you’re more knowledgeable about who you are and what makes you happy.

A part of the beauty of life is that everyone has an innate personal wisdom that starts coming forth as they age so listen to yourself.

If there are things that give you joy, spend more time on those activities and find out where those lead.

Overall Conclusion

When it comes to changing your career, keep in mind that it isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes courage and a lot of motivation.

You will have to go outside your comfort zone because you’re probably used to the way things are now. Be sure to not let fear hold you back, though.

If you want something new, then don’t let anything stop you from achieving it.

At the end of the day, life is about finding happiness in what you do – no matter what career that may be for you.

Case Studies, Academic, and Research-Based Sources:

  • Ibarra, H. (2003). Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Harvard Business School Press.
  • Hall, D. T., & Mirvis, P. H. (1995). The new career contract: Developing the whole person at midlife and beyond. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 47(3), 269-289.
  • Savickas, M. L. (2005). The theory and practice of career construction. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Baruch, Y., & Bozionelos, N. (2011). Career issues. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol 2: Selecting and developing members for the organization. American Psychological Association.
  • Eby, L. T., Butts, M., & Lockwood, A. (2003). Predictors of success in the era of the boundaryless career. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(6), 689-708.
  • Herminia Ibarra, H., & Petriglieri, J. L. (2010). Identity work and play. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(1), 10-25.
  • Arthur, M. B., & Rousseau, D. M. (Eds.). (1996). The boundaryless career: A new employment principle for a new organizational era. Oxford University Press.
  • Greenhaus, J. H., Callanan, G. A., & Godshalk, V. M. (2010). Career management. Sage.
Author: Emma Williams - Chief Research Officer at HIGH5
Author: Emma Williams - Chief Research Officer at HIGH5

Emma is a certified strengths and career coach with more than 25 years of international experience in helping individuals and organizations achieve success by nailing and maximizing their unique value propositions. She is an entrepreneur, proud mother and a C-level executive at HIGH5TEST, where she leads its coaching and research programs.

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