While some economic experts profess that class change in the United States is limited, people are becoming more apt to take action to become upwardly mobile. According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 40 percent of all people seeking new jobs are also trying to change careers. Changing careers, however, is not always a simple task, and those who succeed usually spend a great deal of time and energy in preparation.
Accept the Risk
When deciding to change careers, it is best to take a seat and think through the process or method you will use to accomplish your goals, and this is made easier by first accepting that there is a level of risk involved. Younger workers have an easier time changing careers simply because they are young. They do not have decades of work backing up their old careers, and they have plenty of time for training or going back to school in order to gain the skills required for new careers.
In contrast, if you have been in a profession for several decades, you’ve probably enjoyed several raises or promotions, and it may be difficult to match your current salary with that of an entry-level position. In addition, you may not have much time to go back to school or enter a career-training program.
Avoid the Traps
In a recent article published by AOL Jobs in partnership with CareerBuilder, it was noted that many people who try to change careers make three common mistakes that hinder the task.
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The first of these mistakes is to internalize your desire to make a career change. When you don’t discuss the change, doubt inevitably sets in, and it may keep you from moving forward. Instead, talk to people, try out some of your ideas, and get some feedback. When others are involved, the doubt can easily be kept in check.
The next trap is succumbing to pessimism. You must stay motivated, and you must believe that you are capable of finding a career that is better suited to you and that can provide you with a decent living.
The final trap is confusing long-term goals with short-term goals. You will need to have both. Entering a new career should be a long-term goal, but before you can reach it, you need to work on the short-term goal of exiting your current career.
Choosing a New Career
An essential part of any career-change strategy is choosing your new career. Ideally, you should have some experience or aptitude in your new career. But as Jennifer Lasater, executive director of career services for Kaplan University points out, this may require you to go back to school to receive some credentials.
If you do decide to go back to school, you might want to consider changing to a profession that offers high pay and stability. U.S. News and World Report ranks the following options as some of the best jobs in the country at this time:
• Software Developer – If you are interested in software design, development, or coding, you will not have to worry about job security. About 140,000 new jobs in this field are expected to open through 2022.
• Systems Analyst – Jobs for computer systems analysts are expected to grow by 24.5 percent compared to the 14 percent average for all jobs.
• Dentist – The demand for dentists grows each year, and you can expect to make a good salary in this career.
• Nurse – Registered nurses are always in high demand. In addition, they benefit from high wages and a low cost for schooling.
• Pharmacist – The U.S. currently supports more than 281,000 working pharmacists, and new jobs are expected to open through 2022 at a rate of 14.5 percent. Pharmacists earn high salaries but require a great deal of education.
Changing careers is a serious and risky decision for anyone, but you can mitigate much of the risk by taking some time to prepare and plan for your new profession.