Changing careers? Ask yourself these questions.


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**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a certain topic. This month, we are talking about changing careers. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective. You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.


It used to be that people would stay at the same job for years. But now, it’s not the same job market, not the same companies and certainly not the same employees. People leave for all sorts of reasons, they either want a change of scenery or they leave to make more money. Companies can let go of employees for any reason too, you can go from being ‘Employee-of-the-Month’ one minute to receiving your pink slip the next. Employers don’t have loyalty to their employees, so employees are looking to better their situation by changing careers or by finding new employment.

Today, a career jump is often needed to generate an increase in income. There is a dark side to changing jobs so you have to be cautious when doing so. Besides, can changing your career improve your situation? Everybody needs some advice from time to time, so what are some ways that changing your career can benefit you?

1. Do you have a reason to change?

The best advice is to look before you leap. Do some research over the company you’re considering and see if their organizational structure aligns with your career goals. This is a big decision in life, so you want to have the proper perspective before you make a decision. If your current situation is not prosperous, then do what you can to find a better situation for yourself, just make sure that it’s the right situation.

2. The lack of knowledge or experience

Without the right amount of experience and knowledge in your new field, a potential career change could be a big mistake. But, if you’re fortunate enough to find an HR manager who wants to see what you can do, then be prepared to dazzle your new employer. If you don’t show that you can step up and provide what they’re looking for, then your new career might just flop. You should educate yourself on your new position and find out as much as you can on the industry. Just be prepared.

3. Is the money right?

Don’t sleep on the thought of earning more money. Money can be an excellent motivational tool but if it’s the sole reason for your career change, you could miss out on the bigger picture. Your quality of life will not determine your overall job satisfaction, so make sure you know what you want when you decide.

4. Don’t go for the new hot industry

Because it could be over before it starts. Remember the crash, same thing, if you choose an industry that has seen tremendous growth in a short time, and you think “Now’s the time to cash in”, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Just beware the peaks and valleys of new industry.

5. Narrow your focus

Find something that you would love to do. Don’t be overly ambitious or fearful of change – but make sure that you know what you want to do. Many people never consider the jobs that they may be qualified for in a parallel industry, so see what options you have before you do a complete 180º.


Read other posts on this topic from members of the Career Collective:

Are You Ready for a Career Change? @Debra Wheatman

Changing Careers? Ask yourself these questions. @erinkennedycprw

Changing Careers: Not for the Fainthearted, @GayleHoward

Career Change Isn’t An Exact Science, @careersherpa

The 10-Step Plan to Career Change, @KatCareerGal

When it’s Time to Recycle Your Career, @WalterAkana

Best Career Change Advice: Target & Plan, @JobHuntOrg

How social media can help you change careers, @keppie_careers

Expat Careers: You Are Not Your Job Title, @expatcoachmegan

Changing The Direction Of Your Career, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland

Career Changer: Can You Quell Bottom-line Ache? @ValueIntoWords

Top 3 + 1 Tips for Making a Successful Career Change, @KCCareerCoach

Changing Careers: Look Before You Leap, @barbarasafani

10 Commandments for Career Changers, @LaurieBerenson

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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

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9 Responses to “Changing careers? Ask yourself these questions.”
  1. Gayle Howard says:

    Excellent article Erin! You’ve made some excellent points. In particularly your warning not to follow the money. While money is important, there are many people who have found that the old adage is true — it doesn’t buy happiness. Usually the big pay packet means long work hours, travel and 100% commitment, things that can be incompatible with family life. A career changer certainly needs to look for more than just money alone!

  2. Career change is a big decision Erin and you did a good job of summarizing the various considerations that a candidate needs to make when contemplating a shift.

  3. Erin,

    Indeed, understanding exactly WHY someone wants a change and exploring less stressful and difficult options to get them the same thing is important. And focus focus focus is critical to fine tuning their value proposition when they are lacking in industry experience.

    Wise words.


  4. Thanks, Gayle!

    Exactly. Being unhappy at your job creates so much extra stress.

  5. Steve G says:

    Spot on. Money is seldom a good reason for changing jobs. In fact, I know many people who earn good money in their jobs but hate what they do. I agree that having a passion is really important, as if you enjoy what you are doing and have real interest in this, then this is likely to be a job that will motivate you to work hard and build a successful career.

    Steve invites you to read more about Change of Career

  6. Priscila says:

    Thanks for the advises. I am already preparing my own resume in order to find a new job in my own career. I have my BA in Languages, Translator. I have been working almost 4 years in childcare and babysitting jobs. The job I have currently is great, yet I am done with it and my contract will be finishing soon. My passion is languages focusing in translating, editing and proofreading. Thanks goodness I have been able to do some part time and freelance jobs with my own career, but honestly, I want to follow my own dreams too.

  7. Steve G says:

    Good luck Priscilla with following your dreams. If you want to work in the field of languages, then you can make this happen. I have noticed a lot of freelance work on Elance involving translating and proofreading if you need a start somewhere

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