Making a Career Change

Making a career change as a result of other life development has become quite common. Some people long for the good old days when people had a single profession and even a single job in a lifetime. Navigating that labor market may have felt less challenging than dealing with the trials of managing a career today.

However, the single job and single proession life is a thing of the past for many people. Depending on who you speak with, you'll hear estimates that people will have anywhere from four to seven different careers in a lifetime. That's not just different jobs, in which you fulfill the same role at a new company, but different careers which involve working in a completely new role.

A real bright spot in these new labor market realities is the fact that you do not have to feel trapped in a profession that no longer (or never did) meets your needs. Making a career change is a normal and even expected part of the career development process. There are plenty of times across your lifespan when your personal, financial and professional needs may change, and, therefore, you may decide to make a change.

Why Make a Career Change?

Your Priorities Have Changed
As you enter different stages in your life, you may find that your career no longer fits with your needs. New parents or adult children caring for their own aging parents may decide that they value flexibility more than the prestige they may once have valued. A career that once was a great fit may no longer meet your changing needs and values, and unless that disparity is addressed, the situation can easily lead to burnout.

Your Business Has Changed
You may be very happy with your current career when, for any number of reasons, the nature of your work changes. The change may be a result of a downturn in the labor market outlook in your field, or perhaps technological or regulatory changes have altered your field so significantly, it no longer meets your needs. Some people in this situation will decide to ride out and manage through those changes. Others, however, will decide that making a career change is the best option.

You've Hit Your Peak and There's Nowhere Else to Go
You may feel that you've accomplished all that you can in your profession, and there's nowhere left to go that is appealing to you. In that case, the search for new challenges can sometimes be found in a new career.

You've Found Your Calling

Some time in your thirties or forties or fifties, you may discover a field of work that you feel is truly a great fit for you. After years of building a career in a field that may not have been an ideal fit, you may decide that any sacrifices you'll have to make to change your profession will be worth the effort.

Your Body Needs the Change
A job that is physically or emotionally demanding can take a toll on your health. After a while, in order to preserve your own health and well-being, you may need or want a career change to a job that is less physically or emotionally demanding.

You Want to Retire
You may be ready to retire, but by choice or necessity you may want to continue working in some capacity after retirement. In that case, a change may be necessary for you to find a job that offers more flexibility and fewer hours so you can enjoy retirement while continuing to earn an income.

There are plenty of reasons why making a career change can be an excellent choice. Career change can open up new possibilities that you may never have imagined in your previous job. Done with smart planning and careful consideration, a career change can be a very rewarding and wise decision.

Have You Successfully Made a Career Change?

Have you been able to successfully change careers? How did you do it? What were your keys to success, and what advice would you give to someone who was thinking about making a career change?

Share your tips and experience here.

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