Sometimes a change in career can be a choice that has been a long time coming or an abrupt, unforeseen downsize that blindsides you. No matter the reasons behind a career change, taking the time to foster relationships and check in with yourself about your career goals and personal values will make the outcome much more rewarding.
Therefore, when making a career change:
Do Not Burn Bridges
Whether you left your previous employer by choice or not, it is essential to keep the relationships you have built intact. One of the costliest mistakes you can make, is letting your emotions get the better of you. After all, your reputation and that of your references are on the line. Leaving on a negative note will have a significant and lasting impact on the trajectory of your career. Therefore, in all cases, it is imperative that you leave any employment with grace and dignity.
Do Not Make Decisions in Fear
Undoubtedly, there is a certain degree of fear and uncertainty when making a career change. Those feelings increase when you have been searching for a job for an extended amount of time. It normal to feel fear and become disheartened by the process. However, allowing fear to dictate your decisions can force you into decisions that may not play out well in the
future. To combat the fear, create a plan—budget, timeline, expectations—that allows you to make practical decisions.
Do Not Make Unreasonable Expectations
As you navigate your career change, make sure your expectations are realistic. You are likely going to have to establish yourself within the new industry or company. Theref
ore, the expectation that you will just start where you left off is only setting you up for a lot of d
isappointment and unhappiness. Prepare your mindset that things will be different, there will be a learning curve, and you are going to have to establish your work ethic and expertise within your new venture.
Do Not Ignore Your Values
Often, because of fear, it feels as though you have to make decisions to ensure you can continue the trajectory of your career and achieve your personal financial goals. However, if you make decisions that do not align with your values, you are bound to feel unhappy constantly. Therefore, make sure your career decisions always align with your personal values.