Are you feeling unfulfilled in your current career or wondering whether you chose the right career path? Do you often daydream about a different job? One that excites you, brings you joy, and gives you purpose? If so, you are one of many individuals thinking about the next big step or asking yourself, “Is it time for a career change?”
Making a career change can be a big decision. It’s important to take the time to thoroughly evaluate your current situation and determine if a change is right for you. The grass is not always greener, but it could be.
In this article, we’ll explore the process of determining whether you want or need a change in your career. By taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach, you can gain clarity on what you want out of your career and make an informed decision about your next steps.
How common are career changes?
Career changes have become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, one of the most spotlighted workforce trends in 2021 was “The Great Resignation,” (also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle). These terms were used to describe the increase in employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs. Even though this phenomenon was trending in 2021, economists say 2022 was actually “the year of Great Resignation.” In 2022, about 50.5 million people across the US quit their jobs, surpassing the record set in 2021.
Statistics have shown the average person holds 12.4 jobs between the ages of 18 and 54. Nearly 6 out of 10 (59%) middle-income American workers are thinking about changing their careers, and 44% already have a specific plan to make the change.
Career changes are more common than you might have thought.
Why do people change their career paths?
There are countless reasons people change their career path. They range from a desire for a higher salary or a better work-life balance to a need for personal growth and development. While the reasons for changing your career may differ, it’s essential to recognize the underlying reason you are thinking about change. Staying in a career you don’t truly enjoy can significantly impact your overall well-being.
Many people feel stuck in their current roles. This can result in boredom, dissatisfaction, and eventually burnout. Making a career change can bring renewed passion, excitement, and motivation to your professional life. As a result, your day-to-day life (most of which is likely spent at work) will feel more fulfilling and rewarding.
Career changes can also have positive effects on your personal life. Studies from Harvard have found direct links between happiness and physical health, mental health, and overall life satisfaction. A career change can spark happiness, open up opportunities for personal growth, allow you to learn new skills, meet new people, and experience new challenges.
How do I know if a career change might be right for me?
If you find yourself feeling unfulfilled in your current job, it’s important to recognize that you are not alone. Many people feel trapped in their careers and believe that making a switch is too risky, too difficult, or that it’s too late in life. But the truth is, it’s never too late to make a career switch.
Let’s explore some questions you can ask yourself to guide your decision-making process and help you decide if a career switch is right for you.
1. How do you feel about your current job?
The first step in making a career switch is to evaluate your current job. Ask yourself:
- What do I like about my current job?
- What do I dislike about my current job?
- What skills do I use day-to-day?
- Do I have skills that I don’t currently use at work but would like to?
Understanding your current situation will help you identify what you want to change and what you want to keep.
2. What are your career goals?
Take a moment to reflect on what you want to achieve in your professional life. Ask yourself, “Am I on the right path to achieving my professional goals, or do I need to make a change to get there?”
3. What are your strengths, weaknesses, and experience?
Before making a career switch, you should evaluate your skills and experience. This will help you determine where you could go and how much work you need to put in to get there. Ask yourself:
- What skills do I have that are transferable to other careers?
- What skills do I need to develop to be successful in a new career?
- Are my talents being utilized in my current job, or do I feel like I’m not reaching my full potential?
- Are there other industries or job roles that might align better with my strengths and interests?
- Are there skills I would like to further develop but haven’t had the chance to yet?
Remember that you may need to take classes or get additional training to develop the skills you need for your new career.
4. What are your values and priorities?
Think about what’s important to you in both your professional and personal lives. Not living in alignment with your values and priorities can result in a feeling of unease. Ask yourself:
- Am I passionate about making a difference in the world?
- Do I prioritize work-life balance or do I like the hustle?
- Does my current job align with my values and priorities, or do I need to make a change to achieve them?
5. What do you or would you enjoy doing?
To determine if a career switch is right for you, it’s important to identify your interests. Again, a mismatch between what you enjoy and what you are doing can result in an intense desire for a career change. To identify your interests, you can ask yourself:
- What am I passionate about?
- What do I enjoy doing in my free time?
- What topics do I read about or watch videos on?
- What could I be doing for hours without even thinking of it as work?
Your interests can give you clues about what type of career might be a good fit for you.
6. What are your financial and logistical considerations?
Making a career change can be a significant financial and logistical undertaking. Consider the potential costs and risks, as well as the resources you’ll need to make the change. Before making a career change, think about whether you have a financial safety net or if you need to save up before making a switch. It can take time to navigate the job market in a new industry or role and find a job you want to apply for.
Embracing Uncertainty: Overcoming Fear and Doubt in Your Career Transition
In conclusion, making a career change is a significant decision that can bring both challenges and rewards. While it can be easy to feel trapped in a job that no longer brings fulfilment or purpose, it’s important to remember that there are always options and opportunities for growth and change. By reflecting on your goals, values, strengths, and challenges, you can gain a clearer understanding of whether a career switch is the right choice for you. And if you do decide to make the change, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. With the right mindset, preparation, and support, a career switch can lead to greater fulfillment, success, and overall life satisfaction.
Looking for concrete steps on how to get started in a tech career? Check out this article.
As a Marketing Lead at Jarvis, Aida works on developing marketing projects with a strong focus on telling Jarvis’ inspiring story. She is passionate about communications in all shapes, forms, and colors.
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Jarvis is a leading IT consulting firm headquartered in Canada that provides total talent solutions with ongoing partnerships across North America’s top financial institutions, cutting-edge startups, and major technology companies.
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