Considering a Career Change? Top Things to Consider

Contemplating a change in career is a big decision and one that requires careful consideration. It might be that your current job has lost its appeal and you feel it is time for a change of direction. You may be facing redundancy if your present company is struggling in the recession. This could be the catalyst for you to take stock of your situation and make a fresh start. However, there are some important issues to examine before making such a drastic lifestyle change.

Test the waters

Before taking the plunge in a new direction, make sure you have done your homework. How much do you really know about what your dream job really entails? If possible, it is worth undertaking some work experience and talking to people who are already active in the area. The more you can learn about the job, the better prepared you will be to make an informed decision about whether it really is for you.

To train or not to train?

Depending on your previous experience and your potential new career, it may be necessary for you to acquire particular skills or qualifications. There may be courses or exams to pay for, which can be very costly. Check if there is any funding available to help with these. If you have a family, you will need to consider too how you can fit your training around your current commitments.

Go to market

You may have chosen your dream career path but it is vital to check if there are actually any jobs to be had. This is especially important if you have invested in costly training or other time-consuming commitments. Spending years working towards a goal of a medical career is pointless if there are no nurse jobs in your chosen sector.

Weigh up the costs

Moving to a new career is likely to result in a drop in income, in the short-term at least. If you have received a reasonable redundancy package then this may be sufficient to tide you over but you will need to do your sums carefully. If you intend to start your own business, your initial start-up costs will need to be carefully calculated and accounted for. Keep in mind that any new venture can take a while to bear fruit, so it may be some time before you break even, let alone reach a position where you are able to draw a salary for yourself.

Be prepared to start at the bottom

If you are moving into a new industry, you may end up in a more junior position than you have been used to. This can be difficult to adjust to but is a hurdle you will need to overcome in order to gain experience and understanding in your new career. Some of your old skills may be transferable but it is likely that you will be learning lots of new ones, so be prepared to go back to basics.

A change in career direction, whether one you have always dreamed of, or one that has been suddenly put upon you will have a major impact on your life. By researching all the considerations carefully you will be better prepared to make the best possible decision for your future.

Post by Phil, a British blogger working with Nuffield Health Careers