A career change is a big transition that most adults face. In fact, a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Baby Boomers went through an average of 12 job changes in their lifetime. Whether you’re looking for more pay, more fulfillment, or more growth opportunities, changing careers can give you a leg-up in life. Here are some tips to reduce stress during a career change.
Consider Why You Want to Leave Your Current Profession
Make sure you’re changing careers for the right reasons. Start by pinpointing the reasons you want to leave your current profession. Are you unhappy with certain elements of the job? Do you feel like you’re not showcasing your true talents? Are you looking for a bigger challenge or better job security? Write down all the reasons you want to leave your current profession. This will help you avoid getting into a career with similar downfalls. If you can find the right job that checks all the boxes, you’re going to be much happier about the transition.
Thoroughly Weigh the Pros and Cons of Changing Careers
It’s important to thoroughly assess the situation before changing careers. Your current job may have advantages that others do not. For instance, you may have great health benefits with your current profession. Those benefits may outweigh the schedule flexibility you would get in another career. If you’re frustrated with work, it’s easy to focus on the negative. Don’t let that blind you to the short- and long-term disadvantages you may be facing. You want to make sure the benefits truly outweigh the downsides.
Look for Work before Quitting Your Job
If you’ve decided you do want to change careers, continue working while you look for a new job. You may not have as much free time for your job search, but you will have a dependable income. If your new career will cause you to move, consider saving up several months’ worth of expenses before the transition. You don’t want to feel pressured to jump into a new job. Give yourself time to find a close-to-perfect position so you don’t end up with another change in a couple years.
PRO TIP: Look for a different job with your current employer. You don’t have to change employers to change jobs. If you can complete your career change in a familiar workplace, you’ll have less adjustments to make.
Leave Your Career on Good Terms
When the time comes to leave your job, make sure it’s on good terms. Give your employer advanced notice, and willingly train your replacement. Maintain an amicable relationship with management and other staff members. This gives you a fallback plan in case your new career isn’t what you thought it would be. It also ensures that you receive a positive recommendation as you seek new employment.