4 Questions To Ask Before Making A Big Career Change

By Siew Ching

Before you make that decision, take the time to ask yourself these crucial questions.

A career change can be exciting – new job, new prospects, new salary! What’s not to look forward to! Before you dive headfirst into that new role though, there’s one important thing you need to do: Ask yourself if you’re really ready for it. Think of it as a self-assessment or mid-way check of your career progression. Sure, you may be a little bored of your current job now and am looking for a way out but who’s to say that your way out is the right way?

Hence these four questions you need to ask yourself before any sort of big changes to your career.

#1 Do you want a career change or a new job?
A career change literally means that: Doing something entirely different from what you’re doing right now. Maybe you’re in auditing now but what you really want to do is something creative. Where else a new job is doing the same thing but in a different company or capacity. Ask yourself this question: Are you looking to overhaul your career or just your current situation? What is it about your job that makes you want to look elsewhere?

If the answer to that is messy office politics or a manager who’s not entirely supportive, then you might just want to hold on to what you’re currently doing and not look at something new. Because in this situation, a new job at a different company may be just what you need to help you be excited about your career once more. Or maybe you’ve just outgrown your position. If this is the case, speak to your boss about a promotion or maybe new responsibilities that can make you more motivated to learn more.

But if your dissatisfaction comes from being completely unmotivated about what you’re doing right now and you can’t see yourself doing the same role for the next five years, then a career change may be in order.

#2 Do you have what it takes to be in a completely new role?
You want to write and create content? Ask yourself honestly: Do you have what it takes to do it? Would you hire yourself? When considering a career change, especially in a role that’s completely unrelated from yours, it’s important to evaluate your background and your skills. Many skills are transferable but when it comes to the actual job, you may require to prove that you can do it. And just lip service during your interview isn’t going to cut it; your chances of landing a new career are better if you’ve done something similar and have something to show for it.

Take an objective look at your skills and experience. Be honest about why you wouldn’t qualify for a job. Then come up with ways to overcome these challenges so your chances of being hired would be better.

#3 Will anyone be affected by my career change?
It’s your career but your decision can affect others, like your family. You may have dependents or are helping out with finances at home. While it’s all nice to want a new career but sometimes, certain circumstances may not allow it for the moment. Or maybe you want to go back to school to pick up some new skills. Will you be able to afford it or will you need financial aid? It’s always a good idea to discuss the matter with your family. Plus, knowing your family is 100% behind your decision for a career change will make it easier to navigate the challenges it comes with.

#4 What do you want?
The most important question to ask yourself! Do you want more excitement in your career? Do you want more work-life balance? Are you willing to start at a lower position and earn less? How important is money to you? How important is it to fulfil your passion? The crucial answer you need is to know what you want out of your life and career – and that answer will lead you to the path you need to be fulfilled and happy in life.

Good luck!

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash.

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