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At some point in life, work may become unbearable, prompting the need for change. For some individuals, stagnant growth may be the problem. While a few may know precisely what they need to do to resolve it—whether it involves a change in location, job, or schedule—others may require more guidance in finding the right solution.
Nevertheless, for certain individuals, the dilemma persists—they’re unsure whether a change of scenery will benefit them or if they need to take a step further and pursue an entirely different career. If you find yourself sailing in the same boat, here are a few pointers to assist you in deciding between a job change and a career change.
Job versus Career Change Considerations
- Consider your long-term career goals and how the job or career change fits into them.
- Assess your skills, strengths, and interests to determine what type of job or career would be a good fit.
- Research job and career options thoroughly to understand the requirements, growth potential, and compensation.
- Network with professionals in your desired field to gain insights and make valuable connections.
- Seek advice from a career counselor or mentor to get an objective perspective on your decision.
- Take into account the potential risks and benefits of making a job or career change, such as financial stability and work-life balance.
- Consider the impact of a job or career change on your personal life, such as family obligations and relocation.
- Take advantage of training and educational opportunities to enhance your skills and make yourself more marketable in your desired field.
- Create a plan for your job search or career change, including a timeline and actionable steps to achieve your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or a professional network during the transition.
Consider a Change
- Consider whether it’s the nature of the job itself that leaves you unsatisfied or if it’s the workplace, coworkers, or boss that makes you unhappy. If it’s the former, then it’s advisable to explore a career change, while if it’s the latter, it’s time to seek a new job.
- If you are willing to put in the effort to acquire new skills and pursue further education, and if you have the financial means and time available, then contemplating a career change would be worth considering.
- Career changes work when you choose your new profession based on skills you already have or which can be honed in order to support a career – for example, if your nine-to-five desk job is not your cup of tea and if you have a passion for writing, try looking for a job in the journalism industry or try your hand at writing a book.
- Job changes must be handled with care. It is essential not to quit your old job until your position at the new one is confirmed. When selecting a new job, ensure it does not have the same problems you encountered in your previous position. Additionally, make a conscious effort to find enjoyment in your new job.
When choosing a
new career, remember the following:
- Consider pursuing something that genuinely interests you and is financially viable. While you may have a passion for being an artist, if it cannot provide a stable income, the pressures of daily life can quickly turn your passion into a burdensome task. It’s advisable to find a middle ground between doing something you love and something that offers financial stability.
- If changing careers requires you to exhaust all your savings and invest several additional years in education or acquire new skills, it may not be worth the effort. Instead, try to identify a job within your current profession that requires minimal changes on your part and aligns with your preferences. For instance, if you’re a doctor or work in the medical field and wish to escape the stress, consider pursuing a non-clinical career. This transition is relatively seamless, offering regular hours and reduced tension, while still utilizing your existing expertise.
On the surface, it looks like changing jobs is a much easier proposition than changing careers; however, situations and circumstances vary from person to person. The final decision rests with you – if you’re not sure which option is better for you, go with a change of job first. It’s the easier change, and if you’re still unsatisfied, then consider changing careers.
The Job Search Navigator is a comprehensive guide to finding a new job in today's evolving career marketplace.