Money & Career

10 important things to know before you change careers

Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

10 important things to know before you change careers

Considering a new career? If so, know that it takes a well thought-out plan to make a successful shift. You’ll want to examine your current situation along with the expected outcomes and possibilities connected with changing careers before you jump ship. To assess if a career change is right for you, keep these tips in mind:

1. Market demand
Changes in technology and new ways of doing business are challenging our assumptions about how we work. Labour market information can help you find out about the latest job trends, which sectors are booming, and what shifts are occurring.

2. Location 
Decide if you are willing to move. Career changers who are willing to relocate stand a better chance of landing work. Plus, in some occupations, moving is the chief means for career advancement. If you’re not prepared to work outside your hometown or city, determine how far you are prepared to travel on a daily basis.

3. Education requirements
Discover what education level is needed for the career you want. You can find this information through a variety of resources including networking, volunteering and the Internet.

4. Personal commitments
Think about your responsibilities to the significant others in your life. What impact will a new career have on them? What are you willing to give up? What is non-negotiable? Where might you compromise?

5. Cultural background
Examine if there are cultural expectations around working in a certain field. What impact are these beliefs having on you? Are they limiting you or freeing you to try something else?

6. Lifestyle
Will a career change meet your lifestyle needs? Determine if your new career will pay you enough to live the kind of life you want. Google the phrase “salary wizard” or “salary calculator” to find useful websites with wage information.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover four more things to know before changing careers on page 27. Personality
Self-awareness is key when contemplating a career change since understanding your personality characteristics can help you find the career you love. In fact, your personality will jibe better with certain jobs than others. When examining your personality, be sure to evaluate your strengths, values and learning style. Consider, as well, how you relate to others and how you respond to opportunities. For instance, are you outgoing or reserved? Are you risk averse or risk tolerant?

8. Skills and knowledge
Observe the talents and expertise that you currently possess. How do they match with what’s required in your new career? To gauge how big or small the gap is between where you are and where you want to be, ask yourself: “What special abilities and awareness do I have?” and “What skills and knowledge am I developing?”

9. Experience
Discover how different encounters have shaped and prepared you. Look at your jobs, social activities and volunteer positions, along with your family and educational involvement. To get you thinking about those parts of your life – both past and present – that will move you into your new career, list at least three significant achievements you have had in the following areas: personal, vocational, relational, spiritual and educational. 

10. Passion
Identify career choices that ignite and inspire you. Find a quiet place and jot down five things that you are passionate about. If your new career choice doesn’t make your list, you may want to reconsider your decision to change careers.

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Crystal Campbell, BJ, ACPC, is a certified career and leadership coach who operates c2 coaching and consulting. You can e-mail her at 
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Money & Career

10 important things to know before you change careers