4 things to consider before making a big career change

Job dissatisfaction can be a huge contributor to demotivation and under-performance at work. If you’re demotivated, and things aren’t going well in your career, everything can seem like it’s working against you. If your feelings continue, you’ll gradually become even less motivated and it’s likely your performance will drop further in a downward spiral.

If this sounds like you, it’s could be tempting to consider changing careers altogether. Especially if your work makes your stressed, unhappy, or any of the above.

But – making that change could be even more stressful - and a big challenge! How will you get interviews for jobs when you have no experience? Will you have to take a pay cut? What happens if it doesn’t work out?

Here are four tips from our specialist consultants to help you decide whether a major career is right for you:

Ask your network

Taking a big career step can be a step into the unknown. But do you have anybody in your network who works in the industry you are considering? Or has good useful connections?  If so, try and utilise them. You could benefit from personal introductions via people who can vouch for your character and skills. They might be able to help a new employer understand why they should hire someone with no relevant industry background.

Test the waters

This is probably the most important. Before making the leap to a career change, and risk being no happier than you were before, make sure you really are going to be happier by getting some sort of experience. Although this can sound difficult, it is vital to understand what your new job could be like.

Could you volunteer in the field you are interested in? Is it possible to shadow someone for the day? If the answer is no, could you try and conduct some interviews with people in the field you are considering? Do everything you can to understand what your new career will be like to get an understanding of your future success.

Can you afford it?

Switching careers can be stressful and high-risk. Therefore, the last thing you should do is jump ship if you are struggling for cash. Be prepared to allocate a lot of mental energy into making your new career work. Otherwise, you might not be able to make it a success.

By ensuring that your financials are relatively stable and calm, you won’t have to worry as much if things don’t work out, or if you have to drop pay for a while. It might be painful to save whilst you wait to build up a cash reserve, but it will be worth it.

Make the transition in steps

If you are looking to transition from, say, an accountant to a landscape architect, consider doing the move in steps. Find an accounting job in the landscaping industry, preferably with a smaller firm, and apply for internal jobs from there. Read up on your subject, landscape your own lawn, take gardening courses. Do everything you possibly can to make yourself employable in your new dream career!