Changing Careers – Where to start?
It is important to assess or clarify exactly what you are looking for short term and also where you want to be long term. Remember when changing your career it also affects your family life and your social life. So don’t forget to include these categories in your list. Here are 8 categories to help you analyze your next career change:
- What is your objective
- What type of organization
- Supervisory or not
- Type of employment
- New technologies
- You and/or your family
What is your objective
- Are you looking to gain new skills?
- Do you want to move into a leadership position?
- What technologies do you like working with the most?
- Where do you want to be in 5 years and what will help you get there?
What type of organization
- Is there a specific industry you are interested in, ie finance, manufacturing, health, government?
- Would you be interested in a large national/international company where there is room for transfers to other locations?
- How about a start-up? Do you have the skills that could take a start-up to the next level? Or just like the excitement of new and innovative environments?
- Do you like bureaucracy or are you more comfortable in a family environment?
Supervisor or not
Some people are made to be in a supervisory position, other people find it very challenging. There is nothing wrong with either side. It is important for you to analyze yourself and decide if you like and want the extra challenges that go with supervising people.
- Do you like a challenging puzzle? If you like getting involved in a puzzle then supervising might not be for you.
- Supervising means making time for people and their problems and idiosyncrasies.
- You have to be tough and soft and fair.
How important is Salary
- Is money the most important thing in your life right now? No shame in admitting this. Money makes the world go round and helps you buy a house, go on a vacation, or pay off a loan.
- Is learning a new skill more important than the salary?
- Is this a good time to add extra experience and education to your resume and not worry as much about the salary? Sometimes a long term career path means not necessarily going for the big pay cheque.
Contract or Permanent
- Do you like the security of a permanent position? These can include scheduled raises, health benefits, vacation time, possibility for advancement. Your job may be like your family.
- Are you more comfortable being a contractor and being your own boss. Like having control of your salary and where the write-offs go. The larger salary compensates for time off between jobs. Do you like the idea of being able to take a summer off or travel for 4 months? Do you find that new people, new systems, new companies enhance your work experience or do they stress you?
Location – to commute or not
Commuting is a big deal breaker on my list.
- Do you like to drive?
- Are you and the company close to public transportation?
- How about the expense of car, parking, public transportation?
- How long does the commute take? Are you going to be happy with needing an extra 2 hours for transportation?
- Don’t forget to think about those long Canadian winters when you factor in commuting.
New and Innovative Technologies
Are you comfortable with the technologies you are using or do you want to train with the new technologies on the marketplace?
- Keep up to date on new/emerging technologies and what companies/systems are using them.
- What’s hot, what’s not? COBOL, Java, Hadoop. What companies offer training in the new technologies?
- Read industry publications to keep up to date on emerging technologies.
- Do you need to go back to school or take a course/certificate?
You and Your Family
Times change and so do you. Just graduated, no family ties – then long hours and travelling with your job are great. Add a family into the scenario or have an older parent you need to help with. Your needs change and so do theirs.
- There is nothing more fun than coaching one of your kids at yours/their favourite sport. Will the new job provide the opportunity to get home early enough for that?
- Does the new company have a day care centre?
- Health Benefits can make a huge difference in your life style.
- Older parents, spouse’s career, are you at an age when you would like a little more time off. These are all factors that you have to analyze when you are looking for a new position.
What factor is the deal breaker for you?
Everyone has different needs. As you grow in your career your needs will change. It’s important to analyze each factor for each time in your life. Be honest!! Changing careers and companies is a hard decision and not something you want to regret.
Start with these 8 factors and analyze each one. Let me know which factor, either one of these or one of your own that made the difference in your decision.
Good luck job hunting
Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment. Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!