career transformations: Ask yourself these questions before changing your career

career transformations: Ask yourself these questions before changing your career

Changing careers can be a tough call to make at any age. Especially during the midlife period, leaving an industry in which you have invested decades and convincing yourself to take up something new isn’t child’s play. The reason for a career change could be many — maybe you don’t see yourself growing in the same field or you have finally gathered the courage to pursue your passions. However, you still must consider various factors before making this life-altering decision.

Sometimes, the monotony from our job makes us develop an urge to bring a change into our life. Now, a change could be as simple as going on a break, taking up a different role in the same field, or maybe moving to a different organisation. Embracing growth as a midlifer doesn’t necessarily mean jumping from one field to a completely different field altogether.

So, how do we decide?
To make it easier for you to understand your true calling, we have listed four essential questions that you must ask yourself before executing a transitional career shift.

1) Why exactly do I need to change my career or why is the current career not working for me?
Before looking for a new career option, you need to understand precisely why you want to change your career. What don’t you like about your current job — is it the long working hours, unhealthy work environment, no room for growth, a sense of dissatisfaction, low pay or is it because it no longer aligns with market demands? Once you have a clear reason in front of you, assess whether you need to change your organisation, role or your field. This will also help you look for a career that can make you feel satisfied in more ways than one.

What skills do I need to succeed in this new career option?
Switching to a new career undoubtedly requires you to acquire some field-specific skills and abilities, but does that mean going back to a school or university? In some industries, the transition becomes seamless when you have sufficient transferable skills; others require the candidate to take short-term courses to gain the required technical skills or even return to college to start from scratch. So, engage in some research to evaluate the skill requirement.

For more information on common transferable skills that can facilitate your career transition, check out our article on “6 transferable skills that will help you swiftly switch from one job to another”.

3) Do I have the financial resources to make a career change? Can I afford a career change?
When it comes to changing careers, financial instability often acts as a barrier. Your current job may no longer support your dreams and passions but is still stable and financially dependable. Now the question is can your new career offer you the same sense of stability? Also ask yourself if you have enough savings to survive and pay the bills during the period between jobs. Try to draw a realistic picture of what it might look like to live on an income much lower than your current paycheck. Remember that if you are going back to school, you would need to pay tuition and other expenses also.4) What can I do to minimise the obstacles I might encounter during my transition?
You are likely to experience obstacles linked to finances, emotions, skills, networking and more during your transitional period. So, you need to first figure out the kind of obstacles you might encounter and then devise a plan to minimise the impact. For instance, to mitigate financial risks, you must try to reduce your expenditure and take up side hustles to enhance your savings.

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Author: Shirley