4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Switching Careers

By | August 7, 2015

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When you’re unhappy at work, it can be exciting to daydream about new career directions. However, you have to ask yourself some serious questions. For example, being an occupational therapist might look like a fantastic job. Maybe it is…but do you know what the required credentials are? Do you need to go back to school? Do you know how much will it cost? Regardless of the career path you’re considering, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before making such an enormous decision.

  1. What don’t you like about your current career? If you’re unhappy at work, it’s important to pinpoint the reasons WHY. That’s simply because you might have the right career, but your working environment is lousy. People are frequently unhappy at work because they dislike their co-workers and managers. Before walking away from years of work, consider that the simplest solution might be working elsewhere.
  2. What would you rather be doing? It’s simply unwise to quit a job on a whim with only a vague notion of where you’d rather work for a living. If you can’t answer this question, then continue to do a little soul searching before making the leap.
  3. Have you researched your new career path? Obviously, you know how to use Google to drum up information on almost any endeavor. However, we strongly recommend that you make the extra effort to speak with professionals who currently have a career in your newly chosen field. These conversations will help you discern whether your expectations line up with reality. For example, a successful real estate agent might make pulling in a six or seven figure salary look easy. However, you may not be aware that they spent a decade brokering small sales and rentals before they reached their current position. Are you ready to put in that kind of work?
  4. Do you have an exit strategy? A few years ago, a video of a woman quitting her job to Kanye West’s Gone went viral. It was amazing, but a dramatic exit is a great way to burn bridges – and it is definitely not an exit plan. Assuming you worked hard at your old job, those contacts will likely prove invaluable as you embark on your new career path. All of your current co-workers probably know somebody who knows somebody who can help you. So be decent about it. Explain why you’re leaving. Don’t leave your employer in the lurch, and generally conduct yourself in a professional manner. When it’s time to walk, you get to do so with a clean conscience and your references intact.

The reality is that changing jobs always carries some degree of risk. If you’ve done your homework though, then hatch your plan and go for it. Good luck!