In my youth, I observed that, in England at least, most people
wanted to get out of their jobs. Their “career”, whatever it was, only
existed to get a regular income. The millions of people who did the
football pools, and later the lottery, were a testimony to the “let me
out of here” dreams of the majority. “Win the pools, and retire.”
may have changed in general, but the fact that most people are not
content with their jobs has remained unchanged. Career, employer or job
change, or early retirement, are in the minds of tens of millions of
people across the world. Only a small minority will ever actually go
full out for a career change; it is far too easy just to plod along
doing the same old things in the same old place.
people are more serious. These are the people with “get up and go” who
actually do get up and go. These are the people who really do change
their working lives, sometimes drastically.
Why Do Some People Want to Change Careers?
There are many possible reasons for wanting a career change. The following are just a few of the more common ones.
To some people, being in the same job, or even the same type of job,
for too long is just unthinkable. I certainly fall into this category,
and personally think total career changes can be a vital contributor to a
satisfying life. I always want to learn something new, and do something
new, once I have mastered what I was doing before. New challenges are
an essential part of every day life.
2. Midlife career changes
might be the result of a sort of career midlife crisis. This can
particularly be so for someone who has always done the same job, and
suddenly realise their years are slipping away and they have really done
very little with their working years.
3. Dissatisfaction with a current employer, either in terms of recognition, prospects or pay.
4. Boredom is a common cause of wanting a career change.
5. Lack of fulfilment in the current career or employment.
above are some of the broad reasons people may seek a career change,
but each individual is likely to have a different mix of reasons to
consider changing their career.
Tips For Preparing for a Career Change
are many sources of career change advice, both online and offline.
Sometimes this can be given on an individual basis, or just in the form
of written material which you can consume at your leisure. As a career
is a personal matter, and all individuals are different, then pesonal
consultation is better by far. However, advisors are individuals too,
and the advice may vary from from career counselor to career counselor.
quality and quantity of career change advice available to you offline
will vary greatly between countries and localities, and you may find
that some of the online advice is, at least in part, to one country,
particularly the US. However, the following career change tips can apply
to anyone, anywhere, and are based on my own experience; they may not
appear anywhere else, might be considered unconventional, but are
designed to get you thinking and planning well in advance for one or a
series of career changes:
1. Travel as widely as possible. I do
not mean go on vacation with a million other holidaymakers on a well
trodden path, but broaden your mind, experience and understanding
through travelling in other countries of various cultures. It is best to
travel alone for maximum experience. With hindsight, I am sure that my
travels as a 20 year old and younger helped to give me the flexibility
and adaptability to make a sudden move from one life direction to
another. When travelling freely, you can always go just where you want
to go, and the same can be true of your working life, or careers, if you
have that flexible attitude from the beginning.
2. Most people have interests and talents that are
quite separate from their primary career ambition. Always try to develop
those skills and talents in parallel to your existing or imminent
career. The more skills you have, the more knowledge you have, the more
likely it is that, when the time comes to make a career change, it will
be that much easier.
3. When in a chosen career, always add new
skills and keep up to date with developments in that career. The
opportunity may come along for you to specialize within that career, or
diversify from it.
4. Plan your life in 5 year blocks. It is
amazing how much can be achieved and changed in 5 years. My own life and
working life bear little resemblance to even 7 years ago, and has
changed drastically in the last 4 years. Formulating a 5 year plan for
yourself at 20, 25, 30 and so on can be a great help in getting your
prepared for all sorts of changes and developments. When formulating
that plan, consider your career options during that coming period, and
what you can do over that 5 years to prepare yourself for a career
change beyond that 5 year period.
5. Have a program of self
improvement to increase your confidence and prevent or overcome fear.
Many people stay in the same job far too long, because of fear of
change. Using meditation and relaxation techniques can help in this area
of your life.
6. Keep control of your finances, and develop a
financial success system . Always budget effectively, and never spend
beyond your means. Always think in terms of building your assets. Saving
from your monthly and income, and learning to invest wisely, can help
you build wealth while most of those around you are borrowing,
overspending, and digging a financial grave.
Why is a financial
success system important when it comes to career change planning? Poor
finances can be an inhibiting factor in making a career change. If your
finances are in good shape, and you have adequate reserves, you have
more time to switch successfully to a new career, even a new way of
life. Financial fear can be a big drawback to making a career change.
adopting some or all of the above tips, you should find yourself better
prepared in the future to make a career change. Hopefully, that career
change will be one that has evolved from your own desires, your own
plans. However, sometimes career changes are forced by redundancy,
technical developments in your chosen career, companies being taken over
or going bust, outsourcing or other change in your working environment.