Changing careers? Ask yourself these questions.

Career & Workplace Job Search Networking

**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