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Career Change: The Risk and The Reward

The words “career” and “change” can both be intimidating when seen separately, but often create panic when put together. As early as a decade ago, this type of change was seldom heard of – If you had a paying job, you stayed put until retirement. That was the norm until millennials made their way into the work force. A generation that embraces changes and, quite frankly, becomes anxious without them. This transformation has the potential to be thrilling and equally as rewarding as the day you graduated college – The start of something new; a self “rebranding”. Although it can be exciting and a fresh start, a career change, as all things, is an investment – Investment in time, in money and resources. So, before taking this leap of faith, here are a few things to consider:

The Why
Are you searching for a “job change” or a “career change”? Many people know they have out grown their jobs or dislike what they are doing all together, but the awareness stops there. Before rushing to the next destination, ask yourself why you are unhappy – Is it the company? Is it the industry? Or, is it, in fact, the tasks you are preforming daily? These answers should give you a clearer direction to bring you the next question…

The What
What does this new career look like? What skills will you need to enhance or learn? Is a certification going to help push you to the next step? Assess your goals and determine what you need to make this move, in order to successfully brand yourself. Evaluate your interests, your personality and your values. Things do not fall into place until you know where you want them to fall – Don’t be afraid to utilize career counselors and explore all available options. Once you have these answers in place, you can create an obtainable action plan.

The Plan
What is your timeline in an ideal world? What milestones do you need to hit in order to arrive at your destination? You can break this latter question down into steps, for example: What potential classes must to be completed? What projects need to be finalized before exiting your current role? And, most importantly, what people do you need to meet to help make these dreams become reality? There is one very valuable word to live by during this career makeover – NETWORKING! Passionate people in your desired industry are often the most successful and are more willing to help more than you think – Be eager to step out of your comfort zone and show interest in their profession. Healthy change will come your way!