Are you thinking about making a career change? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that the average person will change careers between five and seven times over the course of their working life. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average worker holds upwards of 10 different jobs before the age of 50, and this number is set to rise even further in upcoming decades.
The changing nature of work means that a career change may be more feasible for you than for previous generations. People are increasingly working in new ways, be it flexibly, remotely or part-time.
While in the past skills and professions were learned for life, education and training is now becoming an ongoing part of a more dynamic working style. This is made possible with the help of new learning opportunities, such as online courses.
While working might once have been viewed as little more than a means to pay the bills, it’s now widely accepted that finding a fulfilling career is one of the keys to a happy life. With this in mind, perhaps it’s time for you to take a step back and look at some of the main reasons people take the leap and decide to make a career change.
1. You need a new challenge
Even if you’re content with your job, company and work colleagues, it’s possible that after several years have passed, it has all become too routine. If you’re the kind of person that needs to push themselves and try new things, a career change might be just the ticket. Venturing a little out of our depth can sometimes be exactly what we need to feel satisfied and accomplished in our working life. If you’re feeling just a little too comfortable, starting a new career path that encourages you to gain new knowledge and skills may help to spice things up.
2. Your values have changed
A job is like a relationship; sometimes you just grow in different directions. While you might once have been passionate about your company’s mission, this may no longer be the case. The idea that people can change drastically over the course of a lifetime isn’t a radical one, and something you’re happy doing at 22 might no longer float your boat at 40. You may have had a spiritual awakening and be craving to get out of the office and into a more relaxed working environment. Or, while financial security might not have been a priority for you when you were young, you now seek more stability than your current job as a freelancer affords. These changing values, concerns and priorities might mean a career change is in order.
3. You want to focus on other things
Sometimes our job does not allow enough us to spend enough time on other aspects of our lives. Perhaps you wish you had more time to dedicate to your family, or to a hobby you’re passionate about. Maybe you desire more time out to travel and see the world. If this is the case, consider a career that allows you to work flexibly or for yourself. Research also shows that more and more Europeans are now opting for part-time work as their primary job, so depending on your situation, working fewer hours may be an option. There’s more to life than work and sometimes we need a career that allows us to acknowledge that.
4. Your passion lies elsewhere
Cast your mind back to your adolescent years. Did you quietly dream of finding success as a stand-up comedian, but your school careers counsellor advised a business degree? There’s nothing wrong with chasing a long-term dream or following what you’re passionate about. We’re often under pressure to make career decisions deemed practical or realistic, but ultimately you are the only one who can determine what job is right for you. Thanks to technology it’s easier than before to research your new career or gain visibility for yourself online. For example, a career in the competitive field of journalism may have seemed unreachable before, but now you have the opportunity to start a successful blog from the comfort of your own bed! If you prepare well and utilise all the modern resources available to you, it’s completely possible to make a career out of doing what you love.
5. You’re not happy
A recent study of British workers showed that job satisfaction was the second most important predictor of overall life satisfaction. This is no big surprise. If you’re unhappy, your job is one of the first places you should look. Your work life inevitably seeps into your personal life, and if you’re feeling dissatisfied, perhaps a career change will give you something new to focus your energies on. There are a number of things at your job that could be leaving you unhappy such as the pressure, the long hours, your colleagues or the tedious work. If you’re not happy in your work environment and it is affecting you on a personal level, it might be time for a change.
Do any of these apply to you? Whether you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current job or just looking to try something new, a career change offers many potential benefits. And, luckily, in this day and age, the possibilities are endless. You can start researching your new career online right now, or check out a bootcamp like CareerFoundry to get started. Check out our list of the top 15 Career Tests to set you down the right path, or take the Tech Career Quiz to see which tech role you’re most suited to.