How do I change my career path?

men and woman working

The average person changes their career 5-7 times throughout their lives. So, if you find yourself in search of greener pastures, know that you’re not alone. 

Most of us decide on a career path when we’re young, and unfortunately, we don’t always know who we are or what we like at that time. People all over the world come to the realization that their current role isn’t their calling or passion in life— and that’s okay. 

So, how do you know if it’s time to make a career change? We’ve outlined some steps below to help you successfully change your career path. 

Rate your current job satisfaction

Did you File FAFSA® Yet

There isn’t any official job rating scale that you can use to review your job satisfaction, especially when comparing it to a job you haven’t done. A simple list of pros and cons might help see how happy you are on your current career path. If you can list more reasons you dislike your job, it might be time to make a switch.

Some major indicators that you are not satisfied with your current career:

  • Continually coming up with reasons to miss work or project deadlines
  • If you are looking for an opportunity to advance or move up — and they never come around
  • You find yourself constantly looking for other jobs

Start networking

Networking can play a major part in pursuing another career path. You can network at the gym, through sports clubs, at your own company, or even online through channels like LinkedIn. Seek out people with similar interests as you and build connections from there.

For some, the term “networking” can seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you might think. For example, if you’re in a community bicycling group where everyone meets up weekly, monthly, etc. you’ll be working on building a network without noticing it just by interacting with the other members. 

You’ll likely interact with a few members regularly, getting to know each other and talking about common interests.  It’s common to get referrals from friends and family. The more friends you have, the better the prospects!

Don’t rush into anything

The best time to start the search is while you are still employed. This allows you to take your time and not jump into anything out of financial need. Many people find rushing into new opportunities trades one unhappy career for another. They may lose out on the right choice had they waited just a little longer.

Make sure you understand the expectations of new career choices and decide if that’s right for you. Ask recruiters or other professionals in similar positions important questions. See what insight they have to offer. You want as much information as possible so you can be clear that you are making the right choice.

 

Don’t take a career change lightly. It’s easy to think that the grass is always greener on the other side, but if you cross over too soon, you might find out that it’s not the case. 

Review your list of what makes you unhappy about your current career and balance it against what makes you happy. Start your networking process, either internally or externally from your company, and use it to get information on different career paths or maybe even an interview referral. 

Know the facts of what you’re getting yourself into before making the move, and if it adds up, then full steam ahead. You aren’t alone in this process, in fact, most people find themselves working a job not even related to their college degree! 

Just make sure you take the time to make the right decision for you, good luck out there!