Navigated thoughtfully, a career change can be fruitful and rewarding.
From childhood dreams to higher education to pounding the proverbial pavement, a lot goes into establishing and advancing a chosen career. So when thoughts arise about a change, common questions can follow. What am I thinking? Is this possible? Do I want to be the “new person” again? Or, if the change comes from a layoff or job loss, questions might focus on what to do and where to start.
Any woman facing a change (any person for that matter) should first consider the why – which is easy for layoffs or losses but more intricate when simply craving something different. According to JillXan Donnelly, president of careerwomen.com, the following are the top five reasons women change jobs.
- Family obligations
- Expanding opportunities
- Higher earning potential
Career changes are indeed possible and can be downright exciting. If a change is in your path, knowing what to consider and how to prepare is key to reaching new horizons.
Know your why: Burned out or bored? Stagnant? Is your passion elsewhere? Know how to address this during interviews.
Under your nose: Could a new job in your current field or company provide what you’re looking for? If not, understand what you’d be giving up.
Going solo: If being the boss is the goal, remember there’s a lot to starting a business. Be sure your idea is solid and pursue financing. Try building clientele before leaving your current job. Check sba.gov to get a clear picture.
Logic versus emotion: Are you making a hasty decision? Take time to discuss with your family and financial advisor.
Skills and interest: Do you have the chops and enthusiasm for your dream job? A temporary or volunteer position could provide the answers.
Money: How will your finances be impacted in the short and long term? Crunch the numbers and reach out to your advisor for perspective.
Ducks in a row: Even positive transitions can bring stress. Take time to get organized and ask your advisor to help you navigate any income changes.
Seek input: Find a mentor or career coach in your chosen field.
Someone else’s idea: Is your change involuntary? Assess your financial needs immediately and negotiate severance if that’s an option.
Roll wisely: Make a plan for your employer-sponsored retirement accounts and benefits. Consolidate your accounts.
Whether it’s your own leap or an unexpected nudge, a career change can be as stressful or fluid as you choose. With solid guidance and planning, the future can look rewarding and bright.
Sources: Raymond James; careerwomen.com; nextavenue.org; prudential.com; themuse.com