The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of people in uncomfortable positions job-wise. Some were forced to work remotely from noisy or too-cramped family apartments, while others put their health at risk as frontline workers, likely wishing they could stay home. Some were furloughed and temporarily lost a sense of purpose, while others were laid off altogether and scrambled to find new opportunities and income streams.
No matter what we went through, we all went through something, leading many of us to question our careers. For some, it was a wake up call to live their lives to the fullest extent, rather than wasting time in a role they’re unhappy in. For others, it showed the necessity of a consistent, secure job with steady income.
Whatever the reason, making a career change is a big deal, and it should be treated as such. Rather than making a snap decision, take time to ask yourself some serious questions, look at the logistics, and try to view the bigger picture. Here are four steps you should be prepared to take if you’re considering a career change.
1. Ask the hard questions
The first step is getting real with yourself. Look internally and ask yourself some difficult questions:
Are you unhappy with your career, or just with your job? If you’re unhappy with your job, maybe you should consider changing companies or looking for a different position, rather than shifting industries altogether.
Are you fed up with your career? Or is it possible that you just don’t like working during a pandemic? How did you feel about your job before the pandemic? If you were happy in your job, there’s a chance that your consideration of a career switch has been triggered by the difficulty of adjusting to remote work.
How are you feeling emotionally and mentally? If you’re not in a good head space, you’re more likely to make snap decisions. Additionally, the pandemic has taken a hit on many people’s mental health. Are you prepared to deal with the potential emotional stress of dealing with a pandemic and a career change at the same time?
2. Look at the logistics…and ask some more questions
If you have spent some time seriously mulling over whether or not you want to change careers and have concluded that you do, the next step is looking at things logistically, and subsequently asking yourself more questions:
Are you financially prepared to change careers? Making a career change has the potential to be expensive. Consider whether or not you’ll need to go to school and how much tuition will be. You’ll likely have to spend some time in an internship role, which may or may not be paid. Additionally, you’ll probably have to take a pay cut. Are you financially prepared to support yourself and your family during the shift?
What does the industry you’re aspiring to enter look like in the long-term? Some industries were hit especially hard during the pandemic. If you’re dreaming of opening a brunch cafe, consider the risk that comes with working in the hospitality industry. If you want to be a flight attendant, consider that, with fewer people traveling, there is likely not a huge need for flight crew hirees.
3. Make a plan
If you’ve done the soul-searching, had the difficult conversations with yourself, and are ready to make a career change, it’s time to come up with a plan. Include defined career goals, as well as small steps you will take to reach them. Put together a budget, as you’ll likely have to fall back on savings for a while. Network, network, network. Utilize your existing network, but be prepared to get outside of your comfort zone and talk with people in the field you’re aspiring to enter.
4. Take the leap
Once you’ve come up with a solid plan, the only thing left to do is take the leap. You’ve made it this far, and now it’s time to trust yourself and your instincts. Accept that this part of the journey will likely be the hardest part, and trust the process.
At The Humphreys Group, we help women in transition to take hold of their financial situation. Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you may live fully and confidently – in possibility. We are devoted to seeing you thrive, both financially and personally. Reach out today for a consultation.