How To Improve Yourself Through a Career Change

Last updated on : October 19 2021

She is holding a laptop

The Benefits Of A Career Change

Many people go through life surviving their workweek, seeking fun and pleasure on their days off. But what if you felt joyful and motivated every day at your job? 

There is a good chance that you are not happy because you don't feel purpose in your career. 

If you've gone through several self-help books but still feel trapped in a dead-end job, changing your profession may be just the ticket to improving your life. 

Job Satisfaction: Taking Stock of Your Current Career  

Changing jobs may not sound like a solution for self-improvement. But if you are spending 40 hours or more per week at a job you don't like, you are bound to be stressed out and unhappy. 

A positive mindset can only go so far as to improve this situation. 

Your work may be causing you anxiety if its demands are taxing your mental and physical health. Some types of work that can harm your mental and physical health include:

  • Medical professionals during a pandemic
  • Security specialists during times of crisis
  • Workers who are on call after working hours
  • Professionals who consistently have tight deadlines 

But it may not just be the work you do. 

Other Ways Your Job May Be Causing Stress

You may not like being cooped up in an office. Maybe you don't have time to get outdoors and would like to. 

You may work better on your own, but workdays are full of meetings. Or, you're a people-person forced to be on your computer for most of your day.

If any of these scenarios strike a note, it may be time to change careers.

Planning to Change Careers

You may be already excited to jump ship. But making a career change takes plenty of planning. 

It also requires you to be discreet while you are still in your current position. Don't risk losing your job before you are ready.

Be realistic about what is making you unhappy in your current position. No matter what career you choose, you will always have some unpleasant tasks, like administrative work. However, most jobs require at least a few of these chores.

Before planning to make a change, ask yourself if your primary job role is causing you dissatisfaction.

In that case, changing careers is the best way to better yourself.

How can you plan a career change no matter your age or experience? 

First, take stock of your professional goals. 

1. What Will Fulfill You at Work?

She is smiling to the colleague

There are a few critical choices you need to make first. Decide if you want to stay within your industry and move to a new department or position within your company.

You may also wish to exit your current firm and move into a parallel field that you find more fulfilling. For example, if you work in a financial position in the health industry, you can transition to working in donor relations for a health-related nonprofit organization.

Remember that despite your experience in your industry, a different role might require you to start at the bottom. If you decide to stay with your company, find out if they offer cross-level training or a mentorship program that helps you to change positions.

However, if you are unhappy with the current state of your industry, it's time to look elsewhere for job satisfaction. 

Keep in mind that starting fresh may mean taking a lower salary. And lower pay can be not easy if you have had a lucrative career. 

It would help if you balanced the stress you are now feeling with this challenge of financial hardship

Put a financial safety net in place before you leave your job. Make wise fiscal choices such as budgeting, avoiding short-term loans, and putting away a nest egg to carry you through.

The next step is to find out where you will fit in a new industry.

2. The Skills You Need for a New Field

Start by brainstorming fields that match your experience and education. 

Find out if these industries are currently in demand and will remain so to ensure your chance of gainful employment and career growth.

Some of the most in-demand jobs include green energy jobs, careers in computer-related fields, and roles in healthcare or caregiving. 

You can search job boards to see how much education and experience are required. Assess your background to figure out where you are lacking. 

It's valuable to assess both your technical skills and soft skills. 

Technical skills are mostly industry-specific, such as accounting, medicine, or legal experience.

Soft skills, however, are transferable from job to job. With the right soft skills, potential employers may overlook deficiencies that you can acquire through training.

The most requested soft skills today include

 

  • Problem-solving, including analytical and creative skills.
  • Flexibility/adaptability to deal with significant industry changes such as the impact of the pandemic.
  • Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and empathize with other people's points of view.
  • The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with others.

Once you have a handle on what you can offer a new employer, start brainstorming jobs you would like to try.

3. Pursuing Your Dream Job

He is having a coffee

Keep in mind this is not just about getting a new job. To indeed be a path to self-improvement, you must make this the road to the life you want to live.

Be clear on precisely what you want from a job. 

For example, you may no longer want to work in an office. Since the pandemic, many companies have been offering remote or hybrid work options to prospective employees. 

Working from home, however, comes with its stressors. Some remote workers struggle to set necessary boundaries between work and family life. 

Take proper steps to maintain a healthy balance when working from home. Set up a dedicated workspace and designate your work hours. Avoid distractions during office hours but leave the work behind when you are finished.

Be sure to get up, walk around, and stretch during your day. Finally, eat your meals away from your desk and don't check work emails before bed. 

Another option to consider is switching to a career that lets you pursue your passions. For example, travel writing jobs allow you to embrace two ambitions: writing and traveling.

If you have experience as a writer and have traveled pretty extensively, this is a relatively easy field to get started in even before leaving your current job. Create a portfolio of writing samples or a blog and start pitching different publications. 

However, some career changes will require extensive technical skills that you may not have. The next step then is planning your education.

4. Getting the Training You Need

You will need the budget and time to pursue the required training. This is best done while you are still in your current position. 

If you already have a bachelor's or master's degree, you may be able to take a certificate or similar training to get up to speed, depending on the industry. 

Other jobs require more in-depth training, such as in the medical industry or engineering fields. Acquiring this knowledge can be costly and time-consuming, so be sure that you are up to the commitment.

An executive MBA is an excellent mid-career option if you are currently in middle or upper management and experiencing job dissatisfaction. 

Pursuing this degree can provide new networking opportunities and open doors you had not considered before. You might even choose to start your own business. 

Plus, an online Executive MBA program also allows you to pursue a degree in your free time. This type of flexibility is worth considering.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from when planning a career change. No matter what you choose, you must be sure you are ready for this critical transition.

Preparing for the Challenges of a Career Change

They are in the meeting

Switching careers is more than just preparing for a new type of employment. It is a stress-inducing change.

Self-care is the best way to navigate significant adjustments like these successfully.

Every day, take stock of whether you are properly caring for your health. While there may be days or weeks where you need to push hard to get everything accomplished, be sure to follow these steps regularly:

  • Getting a whole night's sleep. Most adults need at least 7 hours. Stay off your devices before bed and give yourself a nighttime routine if you have trouble falling asleep.
  • Eat at least three meals a day. Select healthy foods and snacks, taking care to limit your junk food.
  • Exercise. Most people should do 30 minutes a day of activity at least 3-4 times a week. A vigorous walk outside is suitable for both your body and mind.
  • Managing your stress. Make time to relax and unwind every day. It's also wise to limit your caffeine intake as it can stress your body.

Conclusion

With the amount of time we spend at work, we cannot afford to be unhappy with our jobs every day. Changing your career can bring you purpose, fulfillment, and peace. It's a great way to find self-improvement in your life.

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