SEEK research reveals that 65% of us aspire to work in a different industry than the one that we’re currently in. However, before changing careers, it’s important to do your research and consider in detail, the career path you’d like to take.
To help you on your journey, we’ve highlighted the top three career change mistakes.
- Changing careers because you dislike your current job. When you’re working in a job that you don’t enjoy, it’s easy to confuse disliking your current job with disliking your current career. Spend some time analysing the actual reasons why you don’t like your current job. If it’s your manager, location, hours or organisational culture, ask yourself whether these aspects are unique to the job, or whether they could improve in a similar role in a new company.
If you’ve identified your stressors to be industry-specific, such as the content of the work or the skills needed to do the job, you may have a valid reason for wanting to make a career change. Whatever you determine, make sure you have a plan for transitioning into a new career before leaving your current job.
Changing careers without proper research or self-reflection. Sometimes the ideas we have about an industry or career we’ve never worked in are romanticised, and the only way to make a good judgement is by researching the career thoroughly.
Ask people you know in your industry of interest about the ins and outs of their jobs, and get acquainted with relevant job descriptions on SEEK. Once you have a clear understanding of what’s required for these roles, the next step is to spend some time assessing your skills, values and interests and whether they’d be suitable for the career you’re after.
Do this by making two parallel lists. One, with the skills and attributes required to do the job you’re seeking, and the other, with your own skills, experiences, strengths and weaknesses, both professionally and otherwise. Then, draw lines between the two lists where both sides match and complement one another. The more connections you make, the more likely you’re suitable for that new career.
- Changing careers based solely on money or the perks of an industry. Certain career fields can be very alluring because of their high salaries and additional benefits, but be careful of making a career change based on the dollar signs – you could end up paying the price for it.
A high-paying role often demands more responsibility, time and energy, giving you less work/life balance and time for yourself. Many people in these positions end up spending their hard-earned money on stress- and health- related expenses, so before you go pursuing a new career for the income, remind yourself that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness.