Five Things To Consider Before Switching Careers After Completing Your Online Degree
Published on: August 23, 2022
Some people know from an early age exactly what they want to do with their lives and what career path they want to follow. However, for many others, it is more of a learning experience, and it can take longer for them to find something fulfilling. This is why specialized degrees are great for people with clear life goals, while more general degrees can be helpful for those who want to keep their options open. If you find yourself unsatisfied with your career after completing your online degree, there's no need to remain stuck in a rut. In fact, studies have consistently shown that being unhappy with your job can also be bad for your subjective well-being (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00680/full). So, if you ever reach a point where you feel like you might need a change of career, here are some of the steps you can take.
1. Determine Why You Want To Change Careers
Changing careers is a big step and should not be taken lightly. If you find yourself wondering whether to take the plunge or not, it is important to figure out why you want to change careers. Often there are clear signs that it is time to change (https://www.academicinfo.net/blog/2022-01-13-how-to-know-when-its-time-to-earn-an-online-degree-and-change-careers/) if you know what to look for. Knowing what is compelling you to switch career tracks is also useful as the question will likely arise during job interviews.
Do An Honest Assessment of Yourself
Nobody knows you better than yourself, so when considering a career change, do an honest assessment of what your skills are and how they align with your interests. You will need to figure out whether or not your knowledge and experience are enough to land you a new job or if you would need to invest more time in improving them. Ideally, you want a job that makes use of the skills that you not only enjoy using but are good at performing. Knowing your skills and qualifications can help you match them up with potential jobs you might be interested in. You can then identify in which areas you are still lacking education, training, or experience and focus on these. For example, some careers might only require you to complete a short course or brush up on existing skills, while others might require more intensive studying.
3. Ask Others For An Assessment
No matter how honest you are with yourself, the unbiased opinions of others about your career possibilities can be invaluable. Someone who knows you best from a work perspective, such as a current or former colleague, should be able to help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. If you are still studying, you can take advantage of services such as career specialists that might be available. They can perform personality and skills assessments and provide counseling after interpreting the results.
Look At What Jobs Are In Demand
Everyone wants to do something they love for a living, but not all career paths offer the same opportunities. Once you have narrowed down what type of jobs you might be interested in pursuing, you should look at which ones are most in demand. A valuable resource for statistics such as average salaries and job outlooks is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/). Here you can see how much the employment of specific jobs is projected to grow over the coming years and how they compare to the average of other occupations. The site also lists similar occupations, so you can see what other options are available in your areas of interest.
Discuss Things With Your Loved Ones
If you have a partner or family that will be affected by your decision to change careers, it is important to discuss things thoroughly with them first. For example, you might need to spend more time studying if you want to switch jobs or start with a lower income. This can put a strain on relationships if not properly discussed with your loved ones. Changing careers is already stressful, and trying to do it without the support of those close to you will only make things worse. If compromises will have to be made, make sure that everyone is in agreement beforehand to avoid resentment later on.
Following the steps above can give you a clearer perspective about yourself, what you want and what you need to do to get where you want to be. However, keep in mind that being unhappy with your job doesn't always mean you need a total career change. Sometimes there are other factors that could be the cause of your dissatisfaction. So first, try and identify why you want to switch careers and if there is something that can be done at your current job that would make you want to stay. The worst thing you can do is make a spur-of-the-moment decision that you may regret once you are able to think about things more clearly.