Thinking about a career change can be incredibly exciting, but also daunting. There is lots to think about, from the financial risks involved to how you are going to handle starting at the very beginning again. However, the rewards can be brilliant, as you can finally do a job you love.
Before you take that leap and enrol on a life-changing electrician course in the North West, here are some things to consider first:
1) Financial commitments
According to Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis Survey, 47 per cent of people who are changing careers do so for better pay. However, you need to really think about whether this is realistic for you.
If you have been working in an industry for several years, you are likely to have climbed the career ladder to a role that pays more than a starting salary. However, by changing paths, you are most likely going to have to start at the bottom. This, therefore, could mean you need to take a salary cut.
A spokesperson for Joblist stated: “Money acts as a double-edged sword, though – one the one hand, workplace frustrations and low salaries can push workers into new opportunities; on the other, changing jobs can be risky if the opportunity doesn’t result in higher pay in the long run.”
Knowing that you will have to take an entry-level job will mean you need determination and a strong ethic to work your way up quickly.
2) Do you have time to train?
Embarking on a skilled profession means you require time to learn those new skills. This means enrolling on courses and training programmes to become knowledgeable and experienced at the role.
However, it is hard to wholeheartedly commit to training if you also have a full-time job and a hectic home life. Really think about whether this is the right time for you and how you are going to commit to your training. Are you willing to work evenings and weekends? Can you go part-time or quit your job to throw yourself into training and achieve the qualifications sooner?
Training courses also cost money, so look closely at your family’s finances and determine whether you can afford to finish all your qualifications before you start them.
3) Will a change of job fulfil you?
According to Joblist, 39 per cent of career changers want to switch roles because their current one is too stressful, while 37 per cent want a better life balance, and 22 per cent are simply bored.
Therefore, it is reassuring to find out that 77 per cent of those who did change their profession are happier than before, 75 per cent are more satisfied, 69 per cent are more fulfilled and 65 per cent are less stressed.
It is wise, however, to really think about what you want from your career change, and whether you will be able to achieve this.
An article in Forbes by Terina Allen forces people to really think about their ‘why’ for changing jobs, as this will put you in a “better position to pull yourself through when the going gets tough”.
It suggested asking yourself what you define as career success; whether this is financial reward and social status or a better work-life balance and enjoying your job. Those looking for a new profession wanting the latter have to realise in striving for this, they might sacrifice the former.
“If you love your job but find that it doesn’t lead to financial self-sufficiency, career success is diminished, and if you get paid very well but lack joy or interest in your chosen career field, career success is diminished. True career success requires that there is alignment between the two,” Ms Allen wrote.