Unhappy at work? Maybe it's time for a change. But deciding to change careers can be challenging for some people. When your friends and family start talking about their "true calling", it can add pressure to an already momentous decision and make you feel pushed to find a new level of contentment.
Pivoting into IT
Jobs in the IT sector increased by 22% this year, making it an attractive opportunity for people looking to change careers. Digital employment on the whole is set to grow by 5.4% by 2020.
Whether you plan to spend the rest of your life in the tech industry or you just want to expand your skills, you'll be making a wise decision. Gaining technical skills can help you stand out from the crowd and could help not only in searching for a technical job, but also in the future if you pursue non-technical roles. There is a high value on professionals who can interact with, understand, and translate technical work.
Taking the plunge
The idea of a job for life is pretty antiquated these days. Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during their working life. So when the time comes for you, how best should you go about it to ensure that you're making a positive change?
Explore your options
Consider the kind of skills you enjoy and are good at, the environment you'd like to be in and the kind of people you want to work with. Once you've narrowed it down to two or three areas, you'll be able to do targeted research into specific job roles. With so many careers to choose in today's working world, choice paralysis can cause some people to shy away from the idea of changing careers and remain in one place.
If you currently work in tech, you may be missing out on exciting opportunities outside your current specialism. To help give your more options to take your career, take the time to keep up with developments in the broader technology world. Keeping in touch with technology trends shaping the business community will help you better assess the landscape and allow you to choose a path that suits your needs.
Set realistic objectives
Consider taking a gradual approach to changing career. While it may seem tempting to radically reinvent your career over night, it is more realistic to work towards a new career over time. This might mean making changes in your current role, taking an evening class or shadowing someone in the career you're seeking.
Developing new skills is especially important in the IT industry. Even if your career change is an internal one, having some level of technical knowledge of specific systems and processes may be advantageous. The more you can do to develop your new skills, the more attractive you will be to potential employers.
Have a financial plan
Due to the potential of moving through several jobs on your way to your new career, you may need financial support. You might end up starting your new career in a junior role on entry level wages, so having a nest egg to rely on will help make the change less of a financial burden.
Believe in yourself!
What sort of working environment do you think you'll be happy in? What energises you most? What are you passionate about? And what do you naturally love doing and are good at? All these questions will help you to identify some possible avenues. Try spending a bit of time thinking about yourself and what fulfils you. It may help you to make the right choice for you.
Changing careers is an empowering and emotionally positive experience that will make you happier. After all, you'll be spending two-thirds of your adult waking life at work... might as well do something you truly love.