I’m in a dead-end job and feel a real need to make a career change.
My employer is reorganizing the department and probably going to offer
most people a package. I see this as my chance to get out and do something
different. So what should I do — and what should I not do? I already have
a tentative job offer from an old boss and am thinking of taking it once I
get the package. Your advice?
The Career Doctor responds:
What should you do? If you are seriously thinking of changing careers — not just jobs
or employers — what you should not do is jump at the first opportunity that comes your way.
One of the most common mistakes career-changers make especially those who are
being forced to make a change through some sort of corporate restructuring is to grab
hold of the first job offer that comes your way. I don’t mean to imply that it might be a
bad offer but why not take the time to see what other opportunities are out there
especially if you have a severance package? You need to evaluate whether you want
to stay in your current career or make a switch to something different.
What are some of the other career-change mistakes to avoid?
- Making a career change without a plan. A successful career change can
often take months to accomplish when you have a strategy — and even longer without one.
- Changing careers because you hate your job. Don’t make the mistake of
confusing hating your current job (or employer) with hating your current career.
- Making a career change based solely on money/benefits. Certain careers
are more financially rewarding than others but that doesn’t mean they are right for you.
- Changing careers because of outside pressure. Don’t let your parents family
or significant other influence your career choice; you need to live it not them.
- Attempting a career change without a new network and mentor. Making a
career change alone is nearly impossible so once you have identified a new
career field start making new network contacts.
- Changing careers without examining all the possibilities. Take the time to conduct
research on numerous career fields so that you can find the best one to fit your current situation.
- Making a career change without assessment of likes/dislikes. Self-assessment
and self-reflection are critical to career change success.
- Changing careers based on the success of others. Just because your best friend
is doing well in a certain career does not mean that you will also do well.
- Making a career change without necessary experience/education. One of the keys
to successful career change is gaining experience in your new career field; and in
some cases further education or training may be necessary.
- Changing careers without updating your job-search skills/techniques. If it’s been
a while since you were in the job market take the time to update and polish your job-hunting skills.
You can read more details about these 10 mistakes in this article published on
Quintessential Careers: 10
Career Change Mistakes to Avoid.
And find lots of great resources and tools in the career
change resources section of Quintessential Careers.