We all make mistakes. Every last one of us. And no matter what we might tell ourselves, we’ll go on making mistakes. It’s part of life, and it’s not about to change any time soon. But what happened when we’ve made a mistake in our choice of career?
It’s an easy mistake to make. For some of us, our choice of career is determined by decisions that we made when we were young, for others, that choice may have been made because a particular job was available or convenient or simply because ‘the grass looked greener’. The result can be that we end up in a career that offers little or no job satisfaction or prospects for advancement.
The key to overcoming the problem is to focus on finding a career that fulfils our expectations and rewards the effort that we put into it. In other words, we should concentrate not on the mistake, but on how best to move on from it.
Viewed from a distance, changing career might look like a major challenge. However, the closer you get to that challenge, the more you realise that you’re well equipped to tackle it as long as you invest the necessary time and thought into the process.
And with that in mind, here are a few things that we’d suggest you consider.
Why Change Career?
In order to solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is. Find the problem and you’re on the road to finding the solution. So with that in mind, you need to ask yourself some hard questions – and answer them honestly.
Are you really dissatisfied with the type of work you do? Might it be that a change of employer is all that’s really required? Or could it even be that the problem lies in some other area of your life and is being transferred to your career? If so, a change of career will not solve the problem.
Of course, it could well be that a change of career is needed, in which case you need to ask yourself some more questions.
Think First, Act Second
You need to give very careful consideration to what sort of work you’d like to do and why you like to do it.
Ambition and enthusiasm are great qualities, but they must be tempered by realism. Is it reasonable, for instance, to assume that a glittering career as a professional footballer is yours for the taking just because you once scored a hat-trick for a Sunday league side?
By the same token, it would be an error to dream of a career as a city trader because of its upside – the potential to earn a lot of money – without also considering its downside: long working hours and constant pressure.
You also need to take a firmly pragmatic view of the prospects of being able to find work in any given career. Is there a reasonable prospect that you’ll be able to find employment? If so, is that sort of work available in your locality, or might you have to relocate?
Embarking on a new career might well mean having to drop a few rungs on the seniority ladder and if so probably means that you’ll have to take a cut in salary. Is that something that you can afford – and, if so, is it something that you can live with?
Keeping your eyes wide open and maintaining a realistic viewpoint when thinking about changing career can help to ensure that the choice you make is not one that you’ll come to regret.
Career Opportunities; It’s All About You
Choosing a new career isn’t all about picking a job that looks great. It’s about finding a great job that is a good fit for you. And that means that you need to indulge in some self-assessment.
Again, the key to making the right decision is to be realistic. A positive mental approach is a great asset and can take you far. Combining it with realism can help to ensure that it not only takes you far, but takes you down the path that’s right for you.
When considering a new career, review what qualities, skills and experience are necessary in order to be able to enter and then make a success of such a career. Then review your own skills and experience. You might find that you’ve already got everything you need, in which case you’re ready to make the leap.
However, it’s far from a disaster if you come up a little short in terms of skills or experience. Instead, you should consider it an opportunity to challenge yourself to bridge the gap between what you can offer and what you need. That may mean acquiring additional qualifications or experience, but that’s where a positive mental approach will really stand you in good stead.
For a range of jobs in your local area why not try Zoek? Zoek is the new job seeking app that matches your skills, job preferences and location with jobs of relevance to your search. Zoek is available to download for free on iOS or Android.
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