What Is Good Advice for a Career Change?

Career changes are common for people in all age groups. Making these changes is often difficult and stressful, but there are ways to make them easier. This article provides advice for those considering a career change.

Changing Careers

It is difficult to find concrete data on the prevalence of career changes, but they are regarded as common occurrences. People hold an average of about ten jobs between the ages of 18 and 40, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While this figure includes summer jobs and part-time jobs worked while enrolled in school, it provides an idea about how often adults change careers.

Importing Information for Changing Careers

Key SkillsResearching job and company data, networking on social media and with peers, building a support team of family and friends
Work EnvironmentCareer-changers might prefer local or home office settings, field-based research, weekly travel to clients or remote sites, department or retail settings, among others
Required EducationShort- or long-term vocational or degree-based education may be required, depending on the desired position
Professional CertificationWhile not always required, professional certification can bolster a resume and improve job prospects

Look for an Enjoyable New Career

Many people seek career changes because they are disillusioned with their current career. It's important to take stock of your interests, skills and personality when looking for a new career to ensure that you don't change to another unsatisfactory career.

Be Prepared to Learn New Skills

While you should try to find a new career that utilizes some of your current abilities, it may be necessary to learn new skills in a new career. Many people who complete a career change return to college to earn certificates or degrees in areas relevant to their new careers.

Be Realistic About Expectations

When planning a career change, remember to manage your expectations. Realize that your new career may not be perfect, and the process of changing will be stressful. Keep in mind that you may need to accept a cut in pay to enter a new field, and focus on working your way up to a better position.

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