What You Need to Know Before Changing Careers

25 July 2022
Posted in: Humanities

So you're thinking about taking your career in a new direction! If you’ve got a new route in mind, here’s everything you need to know before taking the leap into your new professional life.

In this article, we’re exploring five critical truths that you need to be aware of when considering a career change. These are the things you can expect to face when switching to a new career path.

This article is part of a series exploring the topic of career switching. Last time we explored the five steps you need to take to make a successful career change, including the key things your need to think about before deciding to change you career. If you missed that article, you can catch up here: 5 tips for a successful career change.

1. Make sure you understand the details of your role in your new job

You may already have a good idea about what kind of work you’d like to get into.

When you imagine your new career, it’s easy to jump to thinking about your ultimate career goal along with all the benefits and responsibilities you’re looking for. Yet, if you don’t have much prior experience in that field, you may have to start with an entry-level role.

You might have to start off with some simpler or different tasks. 

So make sure to look into the entry-level roles in that industry too. Make sure you’re happy with your starting role as you start out your journey.

2. You might make less money to begin with

As well as taking up an entry-level role, it's likely that you will earn less money to start with. You should do some research around the kind of salary you’re expecting from your new career.

It's important to compare this to your current financial situation. 

If you’re hoping to become self-employed, it's even more important to be eagle-eyed with your finances. Income for self-employed people can fluctuate. You’ll also have your own taxes to take care of. 

So, financial awareness plays an important role when changing careers. If it’s something you’re not confident with, why not try a short financial course to help you get your bearings?

Don't forget to factor in the cost of your personal development. You may need need to get new qualifications and courses in further education often cost a fee. That said, financial assistance is often available for students. If you’re considering starting a new course with City Lit, you can find fee and finance help here.

3. Make sure you have a plan

To make a big career change, it’s best to have a solid plan to help you manage the transition. 

The transitional phase can be a little tricky. More so if you’re having to maintain your current job at the same time. So sitting down and putting a plan together can go a long way. 

Whether it’s a 5-year plan, or a course of action for the next couple of months, getting organised and thinking about your next steps is essential.

Think about your new routine, and what makes sense for you.

If you’re looking to pick up some new skills, can you fit your classes around your current work and home commitments? Starting new courses and learning new skills can be exciting. Yet it's tempting to over-book yourself and take too much on at once.

So whether it’s on Microsoft Excel or scribblings in a diary, you should plan out your transition and be realistic. Your plan can be as detailed or as loose as you’d like. Simply make sure you keep your end goal in mind while being realistic about your current situation.

4. You will need to persevere and be resilient

Any big life change can be tough!

Before you embark on a new professional journey, understand that it may feel difficult as well as exciting and fulfilling.

You may encounter stress, setbacks, and delays to your success. So it's important to build up your resilience and perseverance. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress setbacks. It's a skill that you can develop.

At City Lit, you can learn more about resilience in our Psychology and Wellbeing courses. There are plenty of internet resources out there for you to read or watch as well.

The best way to help yourself persevere through challenges is to look after yourself. Yoga and mindfulness meditation are both great ways to exercise your mind and relax.

If you’re not quite ready to face potential ups and downs, then don’t worry – there’s no rush. Your career change can happen whenever you’d like it to. If now isn’t the right time, wait, and keep refining your plan.

If your career change gets hard, don’t give up! But also, remember to take everything at your own pace.

5. You need to be sure

Ask yourself – will this career change get me to where I want to be?

Often we decide to change our career because we’re not happy with the one we currently have. Yet it’s important to make sure your career is the issue before you embark on a whole new journey.

Let's say your current role isn’t that fulfilling to you. 

Things in life are getting you down. Perpahs you also feel you're struggling with other aspects of your mental health. Will changing your whole career help that issue?

A career change isn’t always the best cure. A role change or a new job might be the answer.

If you’re still not sure whether a career change is what you need, read our article - 5 Tips for a Successful Career Change - to help you acknowledge and plan your transition.

Final thoughts

It’s a lot to mull over, but we’re passionate about helping you find your passion and your perfect career. 

You can find more information about career changes and learning new skills on our blog – and don’t forget to browse our fantastic range of courses if it is time to retrain.

< Previous article in this series

5 Tips for a Successful Career Change