Considering a Career Change? Avoid These 7 Mistakes

switching careers

They say the grass is not always greener on the other side, and in many cases, this may be true.

Similarly, we may think our current career as a bunch of baloney and another career (which we have long been daydreaming about) as something that is just what we need.

Let’s go back to the grass is greener phrase and look at some other meanings that people have attached to it:

If the grass is greener on the other side, would the other side think your grass is greener than their side?

The grass may be greener on the other side, but maybe yours will be greener if you water it.

If the grass is greener on the other side, there’s probably more manure there.

Gained a new perspective? Exactly!

There are definitely big mistakes one can make. Making these when choosing to jump over to the other side will have you realizing you’ve made a major misstep

1. Not Having a Solid Plan

If you really are considering making the switch, you can’t just rely on a leap of faith. Sorry, sir, but you’ve got to do more planning than that!

A successful career change can take months to achieve. Without a plan, you’ll end up confused and feeling like you are stuck in the middle of nowhere for a longer period.

You will have to consider many aspects of the new career. How is the salary? Will it be enough to pay your bills?

Will you need more education and training? Where will you be able to get it? How long will it take? Do you already know someone who can be a great guide and put you in the right place?

Without these questions and answers, you might end up opting for the first opportunity you get, even if isn’t the best one for you.

2. You Hate Your Job

You may hate your job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make a career change. You might hate your boss, the corporate culture or the tasks you do.

However, you should be able to discern the difference between making a job change and a career change. A job change might be the answer to all of your problems even if it is within the same career/industry.

3. Chasing the Greenbacks

The money may seem more attractive, but such an allure can also be deceiving. Chasing money just for the sake of chasing money is almost always a bad idea.

In this situation, we can ponder one of the statements above: The grass may be greener on the other side, but maybe yours will be greener if you water it.

In terms of career, this can translate to: The other career may earn you more money, but maybe your current career would too if you invest more time/effort/dedication in it.

Or, If the grass is greener on the other side, there’s probably more manure there. It is likely you will also hate the new job that earns you more benefits and money because of health, stress and other factors involved in the job that you didn’t consider.

4. Someone Else Wants You To

If your mother, father or significant other is telling you to change your career because of a reason that doesn’t benefit you, you might want to reconsider.

At times, even loved ones ask us to do something that solely benefits them, and a career change is definitely not something you’d want to base solely on their wishes (and not your own).

Don’t let anyone influence your career choice, because this is something you’ve gotta do all the time and all your life. Not them!

If the new gig is something you don’t love more than your previous job, you’ll end up resenting your new career as well as the person who advised you to go for it.

5. Not Doing Thorough Research

By research, I don’t mean a research of your own intentions. I mean time invested in researching your prospective new career as well as others.

Maybe you have another career waiting for you that you haven’t thought of. Talk to people in your network, talk to a career counselor or other professionals who are willing to help you in your endeavors.

You may find that you weren’t looking into other career options that would help you make better choices. With more information you will be able to gain a wider perspective of potential jobs. This way you can ensure that your career change is well thought-out and eventually successful.

6. You’re Bored

If you looking for a change just because you are bored, you might face the same problem in the next career and then the next and so on. This problem can happen to anyone at any point, but it doesn’t mean you ditch your current career.

Maybe a better solution to this problem would be to ask your boss to make your work more challenging. Maybe you simply require a challenge.

Or you could invest more time and effort into your company by engaging in more challenging projects. Get involved, befriend your coworker or switch to another department that will let you do the kind of work you’re interested in. The boredom will go away on its on.

7. Not Having the Right Qualifications

Merely making the decision to change is not good enough. There may be a gap that needs to be bridged before you can successfully walk over to the other side.

Skills, qualifications, additional training and experience are often required before you can obtain a full-time job at an upper level in the hierarchy.

If an entry-level job is not what you are looking for, you might need to work as a temp, volunteer, or intern to gain some experience. This will also enable you to test the waters before you actually decide to pursue a career in the field.

Make sure you answer every question from every angle before you decide to move to another green pasture. Many people come to a point in life when they seriously consider a career change.

Many of them successfully change to a new role they love. If you avoid mistakes like those listed above, then your career change is good to go!

(Photo by Ulisse Albiati / CC BY)

Ashley Sanford works at Peak Dissertation supervising a panel of academic writers. She’s also a passionate blogger with a core interest in career programs and consultation.


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