Wanting To Switch Careers? Here’s What To Do Next

Are you thinking it’s time to switch careers? You’re not alone. Research shows that, on average, people have 12 different jobs during their lifetimes, and nearly 30% completely change fields.

But changing jobs isn’t easy, and the thought of navigating a new industry can feel frightening and overwhelming. That said, making a move can be extremely beneficial, both professionally and personally. Let’s get into what you need to know.

Assess Your Current Job Situation

Do you want to switch careers, or do you just want some change in responsibilities? If you currently work in a less-than-ideal setting, you might assume that you need a new career altogether.

Burnout can happen at any point, but some common risk factors that may aggravate job-specific burnout include:

  • consistently feeling overwhelmed at work.
  • feeling like you can’t balance life with work.
  • toxic work relationships/dynamics.
  • unclear or unrealistic job expectations.
  • heavy workloads that appear to worsen over time.

However, you might be better off switching roles within the company or finding a similar job in another organization. Consider this: are you tired of your current role, or are you tired of the career altogether? 

If you don’t know the answer, it might be helpful to ask yourself if you think things would significantly improve if you had a different schedule, boss, or set of responsibilities. Answering yes may mean you need to switch companies. On the other hand, answering no may indicate more of a global burnout and the desire to leave your current field altogether.

Begin Strategizing

What’s your next move? Do you already have a specific job in mind, or are you just entirely burnt-out from your current career and don’t really care what you do next? Are you looking to work part-time or full-time? Will you need to go back to school or receive some additional training?

Start considering some potential career options. Think about your skills and preferences and core values. What makes you feel excited in the morning? What gives you a sense of passion or purpose?

While you don’t need to know all the steps you’re going to take right away, you should have some kind of definitive outline in mind. Outlining will keep you organized and on track.

If you keep drawing blanks, consider meeting with a career counselor or taking a few career assessments.  This information can help you narrow down the best choices.

Consider How You Will Start ‘Breaking In’

Do you know anyone who already works in the field? If so, it’s time to start picking their brain! This initiative can evolve into networking, and successful networking can begin by connecting with just a single person.

Then, consider the best steps for entering the field. For example, can you start volunteering in a related role? Is someone willing to mentor you? Should you sign up for a few introductory classes to make sure it’s the right path for you?

Remember that breaking in often starts with a first step. But, even if you don’t know what that step should be, taking some kind of action is often better than no action at all! So, commit to movement and make a plan for how you want to ‘break in’ within the next 30, 60, or 90 days.

Overview Your Finances

In some cases, leaping from one career to the next can be a smart financial move. In others, the stakes are higher, such as starting your own business or joining a startup. Furthermore, some people enter new fields knowing they will likely need to take a pay cut.

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with your finances. What does your savings look like right now? How is your current cash flow? Are you anticipating any large expenses- if so, how will you account for them?

While it may not be realistic to achieve perfect financial security before you make a change, you will benefit from having some kind of cushion. With that in mind, it’s important to review these potential financial changes with anyone else who contributes to the household income.

Be Patient

Switching careers can be a lengthy process. You may feel rusty going on interviews, or you might feel insecure learning a new set of skills.

These reactions are entirely normal, and they can be an integral part of your growth process. Having patience is key. You may not feel like an expert right away, and nobody will expect that from you!

How Therapy Can Support You As You Switch Careers

No matter your next move, you shouldn’t decide to switch careers lightly. Acting impulsively can result in even more stress and problems.

Therapy can help you evaluate the risks, benefits, and emotions associated with undergoing this change. Together, we can work through fear and ambivalence and develop an action-based plan for success.

I am here for you during this exciting transition! Contact me today to schedule a consultation.

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

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