If you are considering a career change, you might first ask if there is still such a thing as a job for life?
Realistically, it’s hard to still imagine someone working for the same company from the time they start working until the time they retire.
Depending on the industry (and company) it isn’t unusual to see annual turnover rates of 15%-20% or more.
At the high end, this would mean that in one year, 1 out of 5 people could change jobs. In some businesses, the turnover rate is much higher.
This would indicate that people are switching jobs and aren’t afraid to do it. Given large forced downsizings that occur where you have no choice but to leave your company and look for a new job, this certainly helps to bump up the turnover rate.
The reality is that a career change is something you will probably experience several times during your work life, whether it involves simply moving to a new company or actually changing industries completely.
Here are some tips to help you manage a career change so that you evaluate job opportunities for the long term:
1. Don’t use money as your prime motivator to change jobs.
If you simply want more money, then really what you are looking for is a raise. Have you thought about asking your boss for a raise? It’s a lot easier to ask for more money than it is to enact a job search and switch jobs. If you are finding that you are underpaid compared to your peers or are not making enough money to support your lifestyle, it could be a matter of you not getting what you deserve. In other words, you might need to start looking out for yourself a bit more and questioning your negotiation skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with negotiating especially when it comes to issues such as compensation, you might consider using a recruiter if you decide to look for a new job. An experienced recruiter can help with salary negotiation and might do a better job than you would otherwise do in this regard.
2. Don’t let others take control of your career.
Don’t let your friends, family, recruiters or anyone else tell you what job you should take or what career path you should follow. Sure, you can consider the advice of people you trust but at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make and you need to be happy with them. A career change should be something that you decide to do and at best, the people close to you can be utilized to verify your decision and to help you confirm that you are looking at the opportunity with both eyes open.
3. Don’t expect to snap your fingers and see your new career magically appear overnight.
Finding a new job – especially if you are changing careers completely – can take time. A job search can almost become a fulltime job in and of itself if it’s done correctly. The chances of deciding to look for a new job and then seeing an ideal opportunity drop in your lap several days later are rare. You will need to work at it to not only locate excellent opportunities, but to then convince such companies that are the ideal person for them. When looking at a career change, have patience but also ensure you put the required effort forth to effectively find what you are looking for.
4. Be creative with your job search and utilize common sense.
“Thinking outside the box” is a tired cliché but it is true: when looking for a new job, don’t just do what you’ve always done ie. fire off 100 resumes by email to prospective employers, answer a few newspaper ads for jobs that are similar to what you are doing currently, etc. There are more effective ways to conduct your job search. Speak with your friends, family and former colleagues and anyone else who can influence your search. One of these people might know someone who knows someone who can help you or point you in the right direction. Also, don’t forget to consider positions different from your current role that utilize transferable skills and interest you. If you are bored with your current position, moving to the same position at another company doesn’t make a lot of long-term sense.
Before jumping into a job search, fully understand why you are looking to change jobs and what you expect to get out of a possible career change. Ensure that your current company/job can’t be salvaged before you decide to leave it. Once you’ve confirmed that you are in fact looking for a career change, then figure out your plan of attack to attain your new job. Afterall, if you’re simply looking for a raise, asking for one is easier than looking for a new job.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping job searchers avoid common job search mistakes that cost them jobs.
Visit Carl's website to find your dream career: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
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