These days, it’s common for most people to change careers every few years. While in the past workers tended to choose one path and stick to it over 20, 30, 40, 50 years, or longer, today most employees move around and try various types of jobs and sectors as they get older.
However, if you’re working in a job you’re just not loving right now, whether it isn’t financially, mentally or emotionally rewarding, it’s possible you want to change careers but feel reluctant to do so. Keep in mind that this is quite normal, and can be worked on if you make the decision.
The first step is to work out why you are feeling stuck, so you can find ways to combat these feelings and make changes which help you move forward. If you’re putting off a big career move right now, read on for some of the most common things that might be stopping you.
Worried About Finances
First up, being worried about finances is a big issue. Many people believe they simply can’t make a change because doing so is too risky, and will impact them too much financially and for too long. While this is understandable, since changing careers can mean you have to spend time retraining and then start from the bottom, there are ways to deal with the concern and keep your bank account from being drained too much.
For instance, talk to your current employer to see if there is any way they’d be interested in investing in your education so you can stay working for them, and switch roles once you have new qualifications. Alternatively, you might be able to qualify for a scholarship, or receive some other type of funding or assistance.
It’s also possible you could earn more than you think when you switch careers (if you haven’t done any research, start now and find out the facts), or that you could keep working part-time in your current role while you make the change. This would enable you to grow your new career slowly, and still have some reliable income coming in.
Another good way to cope with money worries is to give yourself one to two years to save up the funds you’ll need for the transition first. If you give yourself a strict budget, you will soon have enough money saved to keep your lifestyle intact while you chase your career dreams.
Don’t Feel Confident
A lack of confidence is another thing that holds many people back. If you’re in this position, perhaps you’re worried you don’t have the skills, intellect, social nous, experience, knowledge, network, looks etc. to succeed in the industry you want to switch to. However, again, there are lots of ways to work around this.
For starters, it pays to see a counselor to talk about your insecurities. You may find some of your perceived lacks are just that, perceived, and not anything to worry about at all. If there are some valid concerns there, a mental healthcare provider, or other supportive person in your life can help you put a plan in place to work on them.
For example, you might boost how you feel about submitting job applications by hiring an experienced resume writer to put together new documents for you. They will likely have a good understanding of what employers are looking for in applications, plus will be able to better articulate your strengths than you probably can – after all, most people struggle to boast about their own accomplishments and positive traits, but this is something that needs to be done in a job application. Similarly, if you don’t show your best self in interview situations, you can arrange for an interview coach to train you in this area.
Other things which might help your self-esteem including joining a public speaking group like Toastmasters; starting to network so you meet people in the new sector; beginning an exercise regime; or getting a new look (e.g. wardrobe, or haircut and color).
A valid concern for you may be that you’re not qualified for the new career you want to get into, or feel you’re lacking expertise in a particular subject. However, this is also something you can change if you want to. If it’s time to commit to your education you might, for instance, enroll in an online MBA degree to help you start your own business; learn the ins and outs of social media if you want to get a marketing job; or do some training on a particular computer program if you want to be become an executive assistant.