Have you ever thought about your job and wondered, “Is this it?” You’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for professionals to completely change or even just shift the focus of their careers throughout their working years in order to play to their strengths or align their work lives with changing goals and values. If you’re wondering whether this might be the right move for you, review these five top reasons to consider a career change:
1. To Follow Your Dreams: Life happens, and a good many of us fall into a career path that has strayed from our original goals. The good news is that no matter what your age or experience level, it’s never too late to create a new path. Eric Hellige, Manager of Career Services at Careerbuilder.com, noted at AIU’s recent Serious Talk Webinar, “5 Strategies to Advance Your Career,” that a key to success when turning a passion into a profession is research: “It’s thinking about what motivates you, what are your goals, what are your passions? Where does that align?” Looking at market demands and job trends is also a smart step, he advised. Some other great ways to research a new career include job shadowing, getting a part-time job in the industry, volunteering in your spare time or finding an internship.
2. To Pursue New Challenges: Whether you’ve spent two weeks or 20 years on the job, most professionals rely on new challenges and experiences to stay engaged and motivated. If you’re no longer finding these challenges at your current job, it could be time for a change. But that doesn’t necessarily mean completely reimagining your career path. Sometimes, you can change the trajectory of your career without leaving your job. Consider asking for a special project or generating ideas that lead to new projects you can contribute to.
Related: 5 Steps to Your New Career [VIDEO]
3. To Find Greater Opportunity for Growth: As you progress in your career, it’s only natural that you will want to take on more leadership, gain new responsibilities and enjoy some seniority. If asking for a more responsibility at your current job isn’t working out the way you’d hoped, it might be time to assess your situation. Finding a growth opportunity could be as easy as changing companies or industries or as radical as switching your profession entirely in order to achieve your goals. You also might consider going back to school for a bachelor’s degree or MBA to learn new skills that can assist you in pursuing a new career or a promotion in your current field.
4. To Realign with Core Values and Interests: For some, the decision to change career direction stems from more personal, internal motivation. “Sometimes people want to change fields. … They are looking for a different type of a mission statement in a company or they might looking to change the type of industry they’re in,” said Hellige at the webinar. “A lot of times in those cases, they see growth, innovation and a new industry that motivates them to be a better professional.”
Related: 4 Steps to Prepare Your Resume for a Career Change
5. To Make More Money: This one is last but definitely not least. After all, most of us don’t work solely for personal fulfillment. We have to pay the bills. Even so, the motivation behind financial career moves goes beyond just making the rent. These career changes also often are fueled by a desire for a better life for themselves and their families. As with any career change, deciding to pursue a better-paying career should take your personal goals and values into consideration. Are you willing to take on more responsibility, work longer hours, manage a team or advance your education to get there? Be sure that you are still getting all the things that money can’t buy when you go for the extra bucks.
Interested in learning more? Download our guide, “Go from the Job You Have to the Career You Want.”