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The Key Questions To Ask Before Changing Your Career

  • by: Gemma Hart
  • On: 12, Mar 2021
7 min read

No matter your field, changing careers is always tricky to navigate. Aside from being daunting, there is a myriad of factors to take into account – will you make the same money? Will you like it any more than your current job? Will the risk pay off? 

As such, it can be all too easy to get focused on all the ins and outs associated with changing trades but, don’t worry – there are always ways to make things easier.  

By being prepared and considering a few important topics, you can make the process a lot smoother, feeling more confident about your decision.  

Join us and discover some of the key questions to consider before deciding to change your trade. 

Retraining not retiring! 

Retraining not retiring

When it comes to changing jobs, it can be easy to convince yourself you’re too old to take on fresh responsibilities, apply your existing skills to new roles and potentially learn new skills you had never considered before. This isn’t true. 

While the majority of trade skill workers start their career path between the ages of 16 and 24, times have changed, and we are now seeing more and more workers switching their trades later on in life. 

This is great news for those who are older and looking for a fresh start but, while it may be tempting to throw in the towel right away, don’t forget to think about the physical demands of the trade you’re interested in.   

Is Now The Right Time? 

We are all guilty of saying ‘it’s not the right time’ when putting off something we don’t want to do. But, it’s a crucial question to ask yourself when considering changing careers. 

For example, getting married is classed as one of the most stressful things a person can experience, so changing careers  while preparing to become a newlywed might put unnecessary pressure on your shoulders. This logic will also apply to other life-changing upheavals like bereavement, divorce, or a house move. 

As such, you need to look at your life objectively and decide whether you have a good enough foundation to handle a career change. If you have another major life event occurring, it might be wise to let things settle down before making the jump.  

Why Do I Want To Change Trade? 

Picture 2 guest blog

As with most situations in life, knowing your motivations for doing something can be useful. This is particularly true when thinking about changing fields. 

Finding your ‘why’ is not only a great way to find purpose and fulfilment, but it can also make you examine things from a new perspective and identify the crux of an issue. 

Discovering your ‘why’ will make sure you are changing trades for the right reasons and decrease your chances of feeling regret after you have. 

What Are My Financial Expectations? 

There’s no avoiding it, it’s vital to consider the financial implications of switching careers, looking at how much you want to earn and what the average salary ranges  are for the field you want to go into.  

However, your ideal salary expectations are not the only element of your compensation to examine. Would you receive greater flexibility in your role despite having a smaller salary? Or would you need to commit to working longer hours to progress in the field? 

You need to weigh up what’s most important to you but being clear about your financial situation is integral to finding the right choice for you. 

What Should I Do Before Leaving My Current Role? 

It’s always nerve-wracking handing in your notice but there are a few things you can do to make the transition to a new role  a whole lot smoother. 

Updating your CV, getting references from your old supervisors, and having a portfolio or examples of your work – where possible – will make the job hunt easier for you.  

However, it’s equally important to have a plan. While the basics described above are great, doing your research into the new field you want to go into is what will best prepare you for changing careers. 

Also, look at whether you’ll need to take any courses or qualifications to operate in your new field, speak to people already working in the industry and investigate job availability. That way, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what to expect before you decide to take the leap. 

Final Thoughts… 

If you’re thinking about changing careers, it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.  

By taking the time to ask yourself what your motivations are, being clear on the practical aspects involved, and ensuring that now is the right time, you’ll be able to make the jump to a new career with ease. 

Switching Up Your Engineering Career 

Looking for Your Next Engineering Job? Browse and apply for all VHR's  technical job opportunities around the world. 

Gemma Hart is an independent HR professional working remotely.. Since graduating in 2013, Gemma has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus towards growing her personal brand and connecting with leading experts. Connect with her on Twitter: @GemmaHartTweets

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