According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL) people change careers 3 to 7 times during their lifetime.
One study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that younger baby boomers (born between 1957 and 1964) changed jobs 11.7 times in their lifetime.
But, there is a stigma around hopping jobs too much that can sometimes keep people at jobs they hate or that offer no opportunities to grow your career. It can be important to be loyal and dependable as an employee, but at the end of the day you have to keep you and your career's best interests at heart.
A career shift is a big change for both your personal and professional life. It can be extremely stressful.
Try not to rush into a career shift too quickly. Take adequate time to weigh your options and decide what you do and don't want out of a career shift.
Before actually shifting careers, sit down and form some concrete plans. This can help direct you through this big life change and increase your chances of success.
There are many reasons to make a career change. Maybe you want to go back to school and enter an entirely new field of work. Maybe you are moving and need to find a new job in a new area. Or maybe you are looking to make a refreshing change in your professional life.
A LinkedIn survey of over 10,000 people found the following to be the main reasons people gave for wanting a career change:
45% of the LinkedIn survey participants said they were changing careers for career advancement.
This can happen when higher job positions aren't available at your current place of work or because you need more certifications or education in order to advance in a job position.
41% of participants said they wanted to switch careers because they were dissatisfied with the management at their current job.
Managers at work have a lot of impact on an employee's quality of life at work. If you don't get along with management, or the leadership at work leaves something to be desired, it could be time to find a new place of work.
36% of participants said they were looking for a different work culture that better suited their wants and needs.
This could be because a previous job's work culture was harmful or not a right fit.
36% of participants said they were switching careers because they were looking for a new challenge.
We can start to feel stagnant doing the same thing for too long. And some jobs just don't offer enough diversity and change.
Becoming too complacent and automatic at a job can also start to dull our skills and weaken the quality of our work. A new job that offers new opportunities and more diversity can help keep us from becoming complacent at work and help keep our skills sharp and up to date.
34% of participants were changing careers for better pay or benefits. Income is an important factor in the quality of your life. Sometimes it is necessary to consider a career change to better pay for your wants and needs.
74% of people who change careers got a higher pay at their new jobs. Making a career change usually does result in better pay.
32% of survey participants said they didn't feel like their work was valued at their previous job.
You need to go where you and your work are valued. Having your work properly recognized at a job is also important in getting promotions, raises, and other career advancements and opportunities.
One of the hardest parts of switching careers is figuring out when it's the right time to switch careers.
You can start by determining whether any of the top reasons for changing careers apply to you:
If any of these items sound familiar to you then it might be time to consider a career switch. But it's also important to consider the timing in your own personal life.
Ask yourself whether your personal life is ready right now to tackle all of the adjustments a career change includes.
Changing careers can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Because of that, you need to have a solid plan of action. This will help you not lose sight of your purpose in your career changing efforts.
The first thing you need to do when considering a career change is figure out what you do and don't want in a job.
This is the time to take steps to figure out what career you really want. Read "How to Choose a Career" to reassess your career desires and goals and figure out what you really want to be doing.
Changing careers can be stressful. Don't rush into the first opportunity that comes your way. Take adequate time to figure out what you want and make plans so your career change can be successful and stress-free.
Having a clear career change purpose in mind will help you make career changing plans that will bring you success.
Everyone's career changing plans are different. For some people, this means going back to school. For others this could mean taking a single course to get certified in something that can further your career.
Once you know where you want to go in your career, make a scheduled plan that includes all the steps you need to take to get there.
Regardless of whether you need to further your education or not to change careers, it's always a good idea to sharpen your basic job skills.
Read this master list of 15 Essential Skills for Your Resume to get an idea of the top job skills you need in any job.
For a more condensed list, here are the most important basic job skills:
Working well in groups and teams is an important skill to have for any job. Even if you aren't frequently working with others at your job, there's still a chance you'll have to communicate and collaborate with others at some point.
Being a good team player also lends itself to other useful job skills.
All jobs require a level of communication. In fact, work from home jobs can actually require more communication skills because remote workers have to use more channels of communication.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills are also important in every job. Each job presents employees with different problems, tasks, and objectives that use critical thinking skills to solve.
If you're making a drastic career change, this might include going back to school or seeking out courses or certifications for the field or position you want to move to.
Even if you don't need further education to pursue a career switch, there are bound to be new job skills your new career will require.
When you switch to a new career you’ll probably be inexperienced compared to your new peers. You can make up for this inexperience by learning as much about your new career as possible.
Don’t wait around to dive deep into research and training. If you need a specific certification, seek it out. Read trade publications, follow blogs from industry experts, or attend a trade show or convention. Try to get an insider’s knowledge of your new industry, because it will help when you transition into making it your full-time career.
After all that hard work it's finally time to update your resume and cover letters for your new career.
It is crucial that you update your resume and cover letter with each new job application. By tailoring each resume and cover letter to each job, you'll give yourself the best chance to impress interviewers and land the job.
To update your resume, keep in mind the specific skills and qualifications that your new industry will be looking for.
To update your cover letter, try to briefly illustrate the experiences you have that give you the skills and qualifications an interviewer is looking for in your new career.
At age 30, most likely you've been working for about 10 years. That's enough to truly experience all aspects of the career you chose.
That doesn't mean you won't realize after 10 years in the field that there are some serious career changes you'd like to make.
Now is a good time to reexamine your career, what led you to it, and what exactly you would like to change. At this point it's also a good idea to evaluate the professional network you've accumulated so far.
This network will be paramount in changing careers at 30.
At 40, most likely you've been in the field for about 20 years. You might be hesitant to go back to school to change careers at this stage, but it's not too late!
Many career changes don't require more than 2 years of additional schooling. Some don't even require more than a year of courses and certifications to enhance the education section of your resume.
Changing careers at 40 can be stressful, as it can be at any time in life. But at 40, you should have plenty of past work experience to use in getting into a new job.
There are a lot of reasons to change careers at 50. One of the most common reasons is to find work that you are particularly passionate about. This work can then be carried on into your retirement years.
Changing careers at 50 comes with a lot of advantages. You will have past work experience to bolster your resume and a wide professional network to work with as well.
These tips on how to change careers are the 5 key steps you need to successfully navigate a career change.
When you’re going through a career transition and you’re in need of some fast cash, just step into a Check City Location near you to take advantage of our friendly financial services!
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