Effective Guide to Successfully Shift Careers

“I welcome this guest blog provided by online writer Laura Lane. She’s a new writer and contributor at contentcampfire.com, writing about career and skills development.”

Interested in shifting into a new career? As it turns out, you’re probably not alone. MetLife’s 20th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2022 reported a constant decline in job satisfaction for the past 20 years. In fact, 47.4 million employees left their jobs in 2021, and only 66% of employees are actually satisfied with their current roles. This trend has been increasingly noticeable, especially after the pandemic hit the world.

Your career choice is a massive part of your life, so job satisfaction is essential. However, shifting into a new career isn’t something to take light-heartedly. There are plenty of factors to consider and steps you need to take. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We’ll talk about the benefits of a career change as well as some practical tips for a successful career change journey.

The Reason Behind a Career Change

There are plenty of viable reasons why people look into changing careers. Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey found that the top five reasons for a career change include:

● Better Pay – 47%
● Too Stressful – 39%
● Better Work-Life Balance – 37%
● Wanted a New Challenge – 25%
● No Longer Passionate About Field – 23%

Benefits of a Career Change

In the same Joblist survey mentioned earlier, it was reported that most people who shifted careers were happier because of the change. Along with happiness, some other mentioned benefits include:

● Happier: 77%
● More satisfied: 75%
● More fulfilled: 69%
● Less stressed: 65%

On top of these, people who shifted careers also started making more money. Respondents stated that they earned $10,800 more annually compared to their previous roles.

Steps Towards a Successful Career Change

Making your move towards a new career can be overwhelming and challenging. However, it’s all worthwhile once you’re in a position that makes you happier and more satisfied. Here are some tips to help ensure your journey’s success:

Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Start a journal about your everyday reactions and feelings towards your current job and how they affect your overall job satisfaction. Note recurring themes and events and how you feel about them. Which aspects of your current position do you like and dislike? From your own notes, you’ll be able to understand better what job satisfaction means to you. Then, you’ll be more prepared to finalize your decision and prepare for the next steps.

Self-assess your skills, strengths, and values. When you’re thinking of shifting roles, it’s essential to know your strengths and what you enjoy doing. Review your work history, and identify your successful projects and preferred activities. Through this, you can determine whether or not your current job matches your core values and skills. If not, you’ll be able to filter out the potential careers that do match them.

Check out potential job matches. Since you have narrowed down your ideal job types, it’s time to conduct extensive research on them. Compare different fields and roles that interest you. You may even lead an informational interview with people currently in your potential area of choice. This way, you can dig deeper and learn more about the roles or specializations you are considering.

Rebrand yourself. After completing these preliminary steps, it’s time to focus on your image, at least before you start applying for jobs. Put yourself under a light personal rebranding. Use resources such as resumes, cover letters, and social profiles to build your individual brand and appeal to potential employers. Look into ways to create a hybrid resume for career change, and ensure that everything aligns with your new desired goals.

Develop new skills and track your progress. Find ways to hone new skills in your present job that could pave the way for a change. Look for courses and resources that will help you better understand your new potential career. To keep yourself motivated in this process, it’s also a good idea to track your progress.

Note down your milestones as you take those little steps towards a total career change. Acknowledging the small victories along the way will greatly help you feel a better sense of accomplishment. Good luck with the switch!

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I have also developed a tool to help you evaluate your current job vs potential new positions you may be pursuing.  Link to the blog that contains the tool.

School Yard Bullying. Workplace Harassment. What’s the Connection?

Late last year I wrote a blog on the macroeconomics of gay bullying, arguing that not only are individual children harmed by bullying, but our entire country and our economic system suffer as well. When kids are bullied in school, whether LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) or for any other reason, they often react by engaging in destructive behavior including turning to drugs and alcohol, and dropping out of school. This in the long term harms our country within the competitive global marketplace.

And now I am in good company. Earlier this month, I was very pleased to see our nation’s president, Barack Obama even address this as a critical national issue. (Link to newspaper article.) This article states that 13 million children a year are bullied, which puts them at much greater risk of falling behind in school and engaging in destructive behavior. President Obama highlighted the need to “dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless right of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not.”

Laura and Kirk Smalley weep in the background while listening to President Obama talk about their family's tragedy. Their 11-year-old son shot himself after being bullied at school.

But let’s take the next step. What happens with the bullies when their bullying is not addressed? They often can grow up and become bullies in corporate America. There is a fancy Human Resources term for this bullying in the extreme – it is called harassment. There are laws as well as corporate policies against harassment. But the bullying can be more subtle and take forms such as employee intimidation and threats of job loss or promotion blocking. This greatly threatens employee productivity as they operate from a sphere of fear instead of freely being able to offer their best to their businesses. Corporations really need to address all forms of employee bullying, blatant and subtle, if they hope to build the highest performing team. A fully inclusive and executed diversity policy that creates a welcoming environment for everyone coupled with “zero tolerance” of any form of workplace harassment, bullying or intimidation will maximize employee job satisfaction, loyalty and productivity.

Thanks to Katie Gailes of SmartMoves International who provided some ideas and inspiration for this blog entry.