Do you have this nagging feeling like you're destined for something else? Are you grappling with a sense of doubt about your current path?
Many people feel as if they're growing stagnant in their current jobs. With the mounting inflation and seeing former colleagues doing well in their chosen paths, it can feel demotivating doing the same thing day in and day out.
There's no shame in wanting a career change. Better job security, higher pay, and a reasonable work-life balance are all enticing reasons to reconsider your profession.
That said, forging a new career path is not easy. Successfully switching to a new field requires a great professional upheaval—further education and retraining, relearning how to market yourself in a competitive job marketplace, and the courage to start all over.
But if you're set on making a change, the good news is that it's never too late. Here are some signs that you need a career change, and some of the best approaches to making a career switch.
4 Signs You Should Switch Career Paths
1) You're Disengaged with Your Work
If you're feeling disengaged in your current job, it's high time to consider taking a leap with a new career.
Disengagement in work doesn't only impact your job satisfaction, it also affects the company's productivity. Disengaged employees are 60% more likely to produce faulty work, costing the company valuable time and resources.
If you care about your professional trajectory, it's important to constantly produce good-quality work to solidify your reputation. Producing poor results, no matter what the cause, can tarnish your professional reputation and decrease your chances of securing a new job in the industry.
So if you feel that your passion for the role is approaching a grinding halt, it may be time to cut your losses, reevaluate your options, and find a job that'll give you that spark once again.
2) Your Job Can't Cover Your Responsibilities
Dead-end career paths are a surefire way to limit your future financial safety net.
It's reasonable to have a minimum-wage job if you're balancing it with higher education and job-seeking, but for long-term financial stability, the more practical choice is to develop a career that can support your current responsibilities.
If you want to own a house or provide for your children, for instance, a secure employment or business venture with good compensation should be something you're actively striving for.
3) You're Not Growing
It's not uncommon to feel like a hamster in a wheel; stuck doing the same job with no tangible progress. This is usually a sign that you're ready for more challenges and bigger responsibilities.
Set milestones and achievable goals for yourself and strive to meet them. When those goals are met, you'll have a better idea of your capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. It's also beneficial to look for mentors or join support groups in the industry you're aiming for.
4) You're Not Happy
Something as simple as being unhappy is a valid reason to look for other career opportunities.
Do you dread the thought of waking up each morning to face another day at work? Are you tired of oppressive and highly-demanding bosses? If you don't like the idea of spending 40 hours of your week in a job you hate, it may be time to look for something more fulfilling.
There are many stories of people who left high-paying jobs to seek out more entrepreneurial and fulfilling ventures. Gathar is the latest example of a caterer borne as a passion project by techies and marketers that has since turned into a booming catering business.
In other words, if you have a good idea and the drive to execute it, don't be afraid to give it a shot.
3 Tips on Making A Career Switch At Any Age
1) Solidify Your Chosen Career Path
Whether you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond, the career-switching process remains largely the same at the beginning: know what you want and lay out the steps to achieve it.
Start by assessing your marketable and relevant skills. Afterward, make a list of you’re desired job titles as well as your plan on gaining them.
For instance, if you want to transition into the tech industry, getting certifications and enrolling in coding bootcamps would be a good start. If you're looking to get out of tech and into something more hands-on like carpentry, apprenticeship programs are a great way to start.
2) Leverage Your Network
Older professionals have the advantage of having more established networks compared to their younger counterparts. Tap into this network of individuals and try to gain some insights from them on potential ways you can break through the industry.
Identify people who are already in the job you want and arrange for casual meet-ups or interviews to learn from them. Ask them about their career path, what they recommend for someone in your position, and any other useful tips they can give.
3) Upskill, Upskill, Upskill!
There's you—and then there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants vying for the same job. The best way to stand out is by having the relevant skills and knowledge to outshine the competition.
To start, seek out the right courses and college tracks to obtain relevant education for your chosen field. The internet has a vast array of online courses, seminars, and workshops in all industries, so that’s a good place to start.
But remember: hiring managers aren't always so keen on getting the applicant with the most certifications. Show them that you have a working knowledge of your chosen field, and through that, you're bound to secure a job offer in no time.