5 Signs You're Ready for a Career Change

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

The right career for you should make you feel challenged, passionate and excited to complete tasks. If you're having difficulty feeling this way about your current role, it may be time for a career change. Before you pursue a different position, determine the skills and abilities you'll need and which responsibilities you'd like to complete in your next role. In this article, we explore the various signs that you're ready to change careers, what to consider before switching jobs and tips to make your career change run smoothly.

Signs you're ready to change careers

There are many ways to know if changing careers is the right decision for you. Carefully evaluate how you feel when you attend work and if you're motivated or passionate about completing your job duties. This can help you better understand if you're ready to switch careers. Common signs that it could be time for you to change careers include:

  • Tiring yourself with long hours and work weeks: There may be some positions that require you to commit to hours or days outside of the traditional work schedule. If you like completing tasks for your role, you may enjoy the long hours. If they instead make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, a new role could be a healthier option for you.

  • Affecting your confidence: It's important to have managers who make you feel confident and appreciated for your work. If the feedback you receive is affecting your self-esteem, there are other positions with more supportive team members and supervisors.

  • Wanting to pursue a different career: If you see other careers with responsibilities that interest you more than the duties in your current role, consider researching these positions thoroughly to learn if they're better suited for you.

  • Having trouble feeling passionate about the role: Since you spend a large majority of your time working, it's important to have a job with responsibilities that you enjoy and feel passionate about. This makes your life feel more fulfilling, meaningful and worthwhile.

  • Feeling like you're not being creative or challenged: It can be easier to finish tasks if they're new and challenging since it makes it feel less like you're completing the same job duties every day. If you're a creative person who wants to solve more complex problems, look for roles with responsibilities that reflect this.

Related: FAQ: How Often Should You Change Careers?

What to consider before a career change

Before deciding if a career change is the best option for you, carefully think about your background, education level and skill set to ensure you're making the right choice. Different factors to consider before pursuing a career change include:

  • Skill set: Before leaving your current role, research potential ones you'd like to pursue to ensure you have the skill set needed to complete the jobs' tasks. If you need more advanced training, you can take online courses to earn certifications while you stay in your current role until you have a strong enough skill set to move to a new position.

  • Education level: If you're interested in a position that requires advanced education, consider staying in your current role and attending courses until you earn the degree needed to work in your ideal career.

  • Potential role responsibilities and requirements: Evaluate the responsibilities of your current role to decide which you prefer at your next job. It's also important to think about what elements make you want to leave your current position, like company culture or job responsibilities. If you'd like to complete the same job responsibilities, but in a different company culture, keep this in mind as you interview with potential companies and learn more about their work environments.

  • Financial stability: As you prepare for a new role, determine if you're financially stable enough for a career change. For instance, the new job title you're interested in may pay less than your current one. Evaluate your finances carefully to ensure you're not undergoing a significant pay decrease that could drastically affect your finances.

  • Career tools and guidance: Use online career tools to locate jobs that better meet your needs and help you quickly find a new role. You can work with a recruiting company or career center to help you prepare an impressive resume.

Tips for changing careers

Take your time as you transition from one career to the next to ensure you're making the right decision and are pursuing the right role for your goals, needs and preferences. Follow these tips to help you successfully change careers:

Research other companies and roles

Think carefully about the type of role you'd like to work in next. It may help to list job responsibilities you'd like to complete in your ideal position. Research roles with job duties that meet your needs and preferences. Consider what you enjoy about your current role and which responsibilities you'd like to continue completing in your next role. You may realize that you'd like to pursue a position similar to your current role or that you'd like to work in a new career altogether.

If you decide you enjoy the responsibilities of your current job and are looking for a more positive atmosphere, collaborative team or motivative supervisors, then you should carefully research companies that meet your criteria. It could be helpful to search online for great companies to work for and view their websites for any open roles that interest you.

Related: The Complete Guide To Researching a Company

Meet with a career counselor or mentor

Finding and preparing for your ideal career can seem less challenging if you look to someone for guidance. You can visit career centers and ask for advice on how to update your resume properly and for tips on conducting an impressive interview. They may even have access to available opportunities that best meet your strengths and interests.

Update your resume

Revisit your resume and update it to feature the new skills, education, certifications and work experience you've gained in your previous role. Consider printing out job listings of roles you're interested in and highlight any keywords you've found in the preferences or requirements sections. Keywords are common phrases or words hiring managers place throughout the job description that mention the skills or abilities they'd like their ideal candidates to have. Including these keywords can capture the hiring manager's attention and helps them picture you performing effectively in their role.

Related: Guide To Updating Your Resume

Take online training courses and earn certifications

There may be roles you'd like to pursue that contain certain required skill sets, experience or education. Consider enrolling in courses or online training programs to help you earn the necessary qualifications to make your resume stand out more to hiring managers. If some roles require or prefer additional degrees or educational courses, you could continue working in your current role and attend classes on the weekend or in the evenings until you're fully qualified to apply for your ideal career.

Reach out to current connections

During your job search, contact current connections within your network to see if they know of any open job opportunities you could be a great fit for. You can also expand your current network by visiting events, like conferences, conventions, seminars or job fairs.

Build an elevator speech and pitch it to potential employers before providing them with your contact information and asking them to follow up. An elevator pitch is a 30- to 60-second summary stating who you are, the skills you have and how you'll provide value to their company if they hire you.

Related: How To Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

Remain professional and on good terms with your current company

When you're ready to switch to a new career, remain professional as you submit your two-week resignation notice and finalize your tasks. Thank your team and manager for the opportunity to gain new abilities and learn new skills. Staying on good terms with your current company demonstrates your professionalism and encourages your manager to provide you with a positive recommendation if needed.

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