After working in the same industry for several years, you may find that you aren't as excited as you used to be about getting up and going to work each day. If this happens to you, it might be time for a career change. Building a new career isn't easy, but there is one thing you can do to make the process easier: figure out what you really want out of both work and life.
If you are ready for a career change, don't just up and quit your job without thinking about what you want out of a new career. Otherwise, you're likely to take a job that isn't a good match for your skills or interests. Picking your next career is like traveling to a familiar city; it's good to visit new places, but you need to think about where you've been before you make any plans. Look back at your previous career, and figure out what you liked and didn't like about the job. Use the information to narrow down your options.
Work-life balance is an important consideration when making a career change, especially if your family circumstances have changed since you entered the workforce. Before you apply for new jobs, think about how work-life balance fits into the picture. You may want to limit your search to employers within 15 minutes of your home, or you may want to find an employer that doesn't require you to work on the weekends. The more prepared you are for a career change, the better your chances of getting a job that is professionally and personally satisfying.
Another way to make your career change a positive experience is to picture your ideal day at work. Would you get to work at 6:00 in the morning and be home in the early afternoon, or would you rather sleep in and get home around dinner time? If you have children, think about how their schedules fit in with your plans for a career change. You may be able to find a career that allows you to attend soccer games or pick up the kids from school without sacrificing your standing in the company.
To make the best career change possible, you also need to narrow down the type of work you want to do. If you have spent 10 years in sales, you may want to enter an industry that is a little more low-key. Conversely, you may be in the market for something a little more exciting than your previous career. Either way, you need to spend time thinking about what you want.
Making a career change is a great way to revive your professional life, but you must tread carefully. Before making the leap, take time to think about what you want from the switch.
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