Nkechi, a writer, stopped feeling enthusiastic about her work. Deep within herself, she knew could do more and wanted to do more. She was currently meeting her employer’s expectations in terms of tasks assigned to her but she felt totally out of place and wanted a career shift.
She eventually moved on from her writing job to a Customer Service role in an FMCG industry with better benefits. However, 6 weeks into her new role, she resigned.
The big question is why did Nkechi from a job she was initially excited about? Career change can be very important in attaining personal goals but it is even more important to avoid certain mistakes that can come back to haunt you.Take a quick look at the blunders below and how to avoid them.
When you are unsatisfied with your job or in your present field you need to evaluate the true cause of your dissatisfaction. It could be that you do not have the capacity to do the volume of work your employer has assigned to you. Your dissatisfaction could stem from working for extremely long hours. Nkechi might have changed her situation if she understood fully if it was a career change she needed or a change of job.
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It’s important to avoid confusing the need for a change of job to be same as a change of career, you may go on to the new job and remain dissatisfied and unhappy.
A successful career change is backed by research. This will keep you equipped. Unlike Nkechi, you would have the right skill-set and technical know-how needed to thrive in your new career. Research also gives great insights into knowing the thought leaders and potential mentors in the industry.
A good salary is always a good incentive but a career that provides you with just a great paycheck and no career progression, challenge or growth easily becomes very frustrating. You do not want to quit your job and change a career just for the money.
Sometimes, a career change is not the answer. You might just need to take on more responsibilities or try functioning in a different capacity before you make that decision. Nkechi might have found this out if she moved to other fields or industry. Whilst still writing, she could have found out a career change was not what she really needed.
This could happen to you before and after the career change. Consider Nkechi’s situation – Did she truly understand what it takes to be a good customer service professional? Did she have interpersonal skills? Did she have communication skills? Did she have time-management skills? Did she study herself to know if she was good at multi-tasking? Perhaps, she simply became overwhelmed.
If you make a career change and fail to develop your skill-set through relevant training and courses, you will most likely hit the rocks in a very short time.
Economic hardship is real. When you quit a job with a plan to change career without another source of income, you can easily become broke. Same happens when you quit your job abruptly without having a savings account to rely on while you hunt for a new job. It’s very important to think of your savings. Will your savings sustain you after you quit your job? It’s also important to consider what lifestyle changes quitting will cause you – Are you really set up and ready to quit without another means of income?
Physicist and Chemist, Marie Curie once said, “I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” Plan, plan and re-plan before making that move. Impulsive decisions when making a career move always hurt you personally and the organisation on the long run. You want to be happy when you make a career change and progress rather than regress.
Before a career change, evaluate your current job satisfaction level, assess your interests and skills, upgrade your skill-set and consider alternative careers before you eventually make a final decision. Are you currently considering a career change?