If you are lucky enough to have had the same employer for years (or even decades), consider yourself very fortunate. In fact, it is believed that the average person changes jobs 11 times during their career. If you are in between employment gigs, it may be a good time to reassess your career path to see if a change is needed. The following are the most viable reasons to consider steering your employment career in another direction.
Your Industry Is on the Way to Obsolescence
If you career is dependent on an industry that is no longer considered useful to the masses, then it is time to consider are change. A good example of this would be a paper salesman in a digital age (see Michael Scott of The Office). Or how about the guy who developed film at the old Kodak booths? It is a good idea to take a long look at your industry to gauge it’s long-term viability in supporting your career over the long haul. If you can see the end in sight, then it may be time to consider a career change and jump ship.
Emerging Industry Offering Better Opportunity and Pay
This, of course, is perhaps the most obvious reason to perform a career change. Sometimes it is just about getting an opportunity to improve your financial positioning and career mobility. Whether you are currently employed or just lost a job, you could be faced with the decision to stay with the familiar or make the jump to a career where you can see a vertical path to fulfillment, as well as the chance to increase your income.
Burnout Due to the Nature of your Job
If you are a Yoga Instructor, there is not a lot of chance that your job is stressing you out. But if you are a police officer in a high crime area, then it is likely that job burnout can be eminent and a career change is needed. If you work a high stress job, it may be time. For example, if you are in law enforcement, perhaps a gig as a security consultant can lower those stress levels. If you are a field social worker who is feeling too involved in the suffering of clients you service, then it could be time to ride a desk. These examples aren’t necessarily changing career directions, but you get the picture. Of course, completely leaving the stressful profession is always an option. You just want to be sure to plan accordingly sot hat your career change goes as smoothly as possible.
Relocation to Region with Different Mix of Available Employment
Perhaps your spouse landed a position that requires the family to uproot and move to the other side of the county. Maybe you are moving to be near an elderly or ill family member. Relocation can mean living in a region where your chosen trade is not highly needed. A beach lifeguard who living in Miami will likely need to find a different career path if moving to Minnesota. Likewise, a dock worker moving to Nebraska is very likely to need to choose a different path as well. It is a good idea to research the region and see where their strengths are before making a decision on a career change.
Your Age is Dictating the Career Change
One’s ability to do certain jobs changes with age. This may not be the case for a stockbroker, but definitely can be the case for someone in certain construction positions or other jobs requiring higher than average strength and agility. If you see that transition coming down the road, start planning for it now. If you are currently out of work and in the 50 age range, you also run into the all-too-real possibility of being a victim of ageism. But don’t let that stop you from formulating an attack plan for gaining any requisite skills in the new arena for your pursuit. Get started as early as you can. The key to changing career direction is definitely patience and situation favorability. It is much, much easier to execute the switch when you have a nest egg that allows you to dedicate more time to training in your new chosen field. This is not an option available to everyone. It goes without saying, but you will need to build the requisite skill set to increase your marketability. But you will also work on building your network to include those who can help you via job access, training and mentorship.