Shifting careers isn’t like changing majors mid-way in college. For one, both are maybe about finding which career path is best for you, but it’s your livelihood that’s at stake when looking for a career change. Here are some things to consider before making that big decision.
Think it through
Are you just overreacting about your job? Have you been experiencing insecurities and anxieties? Making decisions during emotional times will bite you back when the time comes. The choices you made during such turmoil are made on a whim. Thinking of leaving your job to chase an easier one may be your flight-or-flight response taking control. The same goes for the opposite side of the spectrum; happiness can have a huge impact on your decision-making process. Sleep it off, then think it through when you’re less emotional; your choice will come just naturally.
Have you ever asked yourself, from time to time, “Who are you?” It might be weird asking yourself that question, but being a little introspective once in a while can put things into perspective. Assess everything you do—your skills, your interests, your values. When you want to change your career into something different, at least make sure they align with what you can do and who you are.
Chase your passion
Some careers are made from studying; others are born from passion. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be an actor or a painter. Maybe you’ve found what you really want to do during your college days. Better yet, maybe your passion were your hobbies all along. Chasing your passion can take many forms and can go in varying ways. But you’ll know passion for what it is—that burning feeling inside you that keeps you going. It’s going to be risky and difficult, but in the end, if you do it right, it’s worth it.
Think about stability
If you have achieved stability and job security for years and now you wanted to shift careers, everything you’ve worked hard for might be lost. That is, of course, if you put all your eggs in one basket. Sometimes, it might just be the job burnout talking. Maybe you just need to take a break or find a new company to work for.
But if you’re keen on making the move, career shifts don’t need to be a sudden breakthrough, just like what movies and TV shows might portray. You can slowly build up to your new career while remaining stable in your job. You can still maintain your day job while making videos on YouTube, for example. Or paint in your own time. The moment that you’re sure you can make a career out of your passion, that’s when you should make the call.
Ask for help
Just because you’re the one making the decision doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Shifting careers is like trekking an uncharted territory. You need all the help you can get. Ask guidance from your parents and people you trust on how you can make this new step forward. If you’ve met some contacts related to your new venture, talk to them about this career shift you’re about to do, or shadow them and observe what they do. Equip yourself with all the information you need to pull it off successfully. Sometimes, changing careers is for the best. You may have found yourself in a loveless career or you feel like you’re not growing anymore as a person in your current one. When you’re ready to move into a new industry, make sure you’re ready for it’s going to be a rough ride.