Sometimes, there comes a time when you, after working at your current job for some time, may be considering a career change. Maybe you aren’t feeling as challenged as before, or your career goals have shifted over the years. Or it could be for more practical reasons, such as wanting a better work-life balance or a higher salary.
If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone: a study by Qualtrics found that 58% of Singaporeans planned to switch jobs in 2022. Still, making a career change can be intimidating, and isn’t something you should take lightly. So before you make any decisions, here’s a few things you should consider.
Evaluate your current position
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to change career roles, you need to be clear on your motivations behind doing so. To start, reflect on your current job and make a list of what you like and dislike about it, ideally as detailed as possible. By doing so, you’ll be left with a more complete picture of what a better career path for you might look like.
Recalibrate your strengths and skills
Next, take stock of your current career goals, values, interests and skills. This can help you narrow down the job alternatives you can consider working towards. In addition, if the job you’re after requires additional skills, this will make it easier for you to identify what you’ll need to focus on afterwards.
This is especially important if you intend to shift to an entirely different industry (which may require additional gained experience and qualifications to enter).
Figure out viable options
Once you have a better idea of what you want out of your next job, the following step is to look into positions that best align with your goals. It doesn’t necessarily have to be within your current industry either; feel free to delve into new sectors, too.
That being said, while you should make a list of requirements to refer to for quick comparisons as you browse through listings, keep a flexible mindset along the way. As great as it’d be to be able to find your dream job, chances are that you may have to compromise on some of your requirements.
Capitalise on your network
Your network is a valuable asset here, so consider reaching out to your connections for assistance. Some members may be able to provide personal insight of a job role or industry you’re interested in, while others may have leads on potential job opportunities.
It doesn’t have to be limited to just your own network, either. Attending networking or career events is also a great way to meet others and gain new information.
Figure out a game plan
With the insights you now have, it’s time to plan out how exactly you intend to implement your career change. After all, depending on the job or industry you intend to tackle, there can be a lot to take care of. This can include adjusting your resume, rebranding yourself and picking up qualifications you’ll need.
For this, you can consider setting up a career development plan, which can help you better organise your goals and what you need to prioritise first.
Persist, but be kind to yourself
The idea of changing jobs, especially if you’ve been established there for a while, can be daunting. In fact, it can be easy to get stuck in your own head even when you’re planning it out, to the point where you might feel tempted to just call it all off. After all, what if this doesn’t pan out the way you hoped for? For all you know, this could be a mistake waiting to happen!
It’s alright to feel this way – in fact, the Holmes-Rahe Stress scale actually considers changing jobs to be a notable stressful life event. However, while it shouldn’t stop you from taking that step forward, it’s okay to take it slow if you need to. So while all this is happening, don’t neglect your health and mental well-being!
At the end of the day, you should be the one to decide your own career journey. But when change is involved, the fear can be enough to make you second-guess yourself. But by preparing well for the next chapter of your career, you’ll likely be stepping into a new world of opportunities. Good luck!