Financial security is one of the most significant factors increasing a person’s quality of life. It’s pretty obvious that money is important; you need money to afford basic necessities like food and shelter, but you should also be able to afford some of the pleasures in life.
Hobbies and comforts shouldn’t have to be luxuries that you sacrifice in order to make ends meet. There are a variety of ways you can earn more money, from increasing your value as an employee to making smart investments to accumulate assets, but one of the best steps you can take to increase your quality of life and become more financially secure is switching to a more viable career path.
Not only can switching careers allow you greater upward mobility and a higher salary in the long run, but it can also improve your quality of life in many other ways. A survey conducted by Joblist found that 77% of people felt happier afterward, while 75% were more satisfied. In addition, 69% reported feeling more fulfilled and 65% said they felt less stressed.
Switching careers can allow you to free up more time to spend with loved ones and doing things you like. Most importantly, a career change can help you to feel more free and in control of your own life, rather than trapped in a job that no longer works for you. So, if you’re thinking about changing careers, here are five tips to make the process easier for you.
Think About Why You Want To Switch Careers
One of the most important things you should do when deciding what career switch you want to pursue is sit down and think about why you want to switch careers in the first place. What about your current job is unsatisfying? Do you dislike long hours working in front of a computer? Are you not suited for repetitive work? Do you feel like you’re being underpaid or that there’s not enough opportunity for advancement?
All these questions are important because they can help you to pick a career for the next stage in your life that won’t have you feeling the way you are now in ten years. Remember, you made a choice about your career once before; if you want to switch careers now, it’s important that you learn from that choice in order to make a better one.
Choose a Career That’s a Better Fit for You
Once you’ve figured out why your current job doesn’t work for you, it’s time to explore your options and see what careers would be a better fit for you and your skills. When researching different jobs, it’s a great idea to reach out to someone currently working in the field and ask them about their experience with the job firsthand.
A lot of careers, especially those commonly depicted in popular media, aren’t really well understood by people outside of them. Figuring out what a job actually entails is crucial to deciding whether or not that job is right for you. You can also take advantage of a career counselor, who can help you to find a career path that checks off as many of your boxes as possible for what you want out of your next job.
Go Back to School and Upgrade Your Skills
After you decide on what career you want to pursue, you’ll most likely have to obtain additional training, degrees, or qualifications in order to enter that field. It’s important to do your research and understand what your next steps for transitioning to your new career are. For example, if you wanted to go into nursing, you’d need to complete a nurse practitioner program.
If you’re looking to make more money at your next job, you’ll probably have to go back to school for a period of time. Not only does this mean you’ll have to go through a little while without a full-time job, but it also means you’ll need to find funding for tuition. If your savings don’t cover it, consider researching to see if your government or bank offers financial aid for older individuals looking to obtain additional training for a career change.
Be Prepared To Take Risks
Before you begin the process of switching careers, it’s vitally important that you understand what you’re doing. By resigning from your current job to go for training or back to school, you’re taking a risk and sacrificing your current employment and relevant experience, likely to start from scratch again.
Although there’s a lot to gain from it, you’re still taking a gamble, and you’ll have to be prepared to take bold risks in order to make a career change successfully. You must be willing to go all the way; if you quit or decide it’s not worth the risk midway through the process, you’ll just have ended up wasting a lot of time and money for nothing. You may end up needing to move, whether it is to somewhere less glamourous like the Midwest for a high rated position at a company of your choice or maybe the opposite and you move to Southern California or Florida but sacrifice pay to start lower at a company in your dream destination or industry.
Make Sure You Have a Fallback Plan
Although a career change is inherently risky, it helps a lot to have some sort of fallback plan, just in case things don’t work out the way you want them to. Leaving on amicable terms from your current job and maintaining good relations with contacts and colleagues in your old line of work is a good idea just in case you end up needing to go back. While you should never plan to give up, it’s always smart to plan for the worst, just in case.
No doubt, changing careers is a scary prospect, and it can make anyone feel anxious. However, it’s also an incredible opportunity and an exciting beginning to a new (and hopefully better!) chapter of your life. With these five tips, hopefully you can put yourself on a better path — leading to a more fulfilling, happier, and richer life ahead of you!