Considering moving on to a new-and-improved job? Before you make a potential life-changing decision, be sure to take a few things into consideration before you leap.
First: is this a completely radical change, or a lateral move? Keep in mind that there’s a reason for the phrase “look before you leap.” Job change is one of the biggest life stressors, along with marriage, moving or having a baby. If you jump from one career to another one without considering all facets of the change, you could potentially get into another situation where you find yourself unhappy again.
Experts advise that you consider the move carefully before making radical changes. The advice is counter-intuitive – if you’re relatively happy in your current job, that’s the best time to be working on your resume and asking for letters of recommendation. Yet if you’re already happy and secure, you won’t be making any sudden moves that could leave you with an unpleasant outcome.
Take the time to make the adjustments in your current job that you’ll need to have a smoother transition into a new one – smooth out the rough patches, strengthen relationships with co-workers and bosses and get solid recommendations.
Also consider what elements of your old job you like and don’t like, because you have to realize that in any career there will be some elements you don’t like. Even a professional snow boarder has to find sponsors, and people who bake cupcakes all day need to keep careful accounting bills or find someone who will do so for them. Consider what your strengths are, what you can do on your own, what you’ll need help with and how much it will cost you to hire out the additional help, if necessary.
Speaking of money, just because you need more money isn’t necessarily the time to switch jobs. In fact, it might be best if you’re financially secure before you start making any sudden changes. Remember that any time you make a career change you’re likely to start out a little lower than you were in your previous career. You don’t want to be in a position in which you accept the first job offer or first salary negotiation that comes your way because you need the money badly.
When you first get a new job, save up some money so that you never have to feel trapped. The money will come in handy not only in the first months of your transition, but keep in mind it may take several years to bring you up to the salary you had at your previous job and this will serve as a nice cushion when you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe to match your new profession.
Finally, sudden career changes have a big effect on you and also your family. Be sure that this new career really fits you well before you make your move. Consider your skills, your options and your values when contemplating a change. Also keep in mind that if you’re friends with your co-workers, they might feel hurt if you let them in on your process too late, but they also might not react well to being in on your thought process too early. Know when to hold your cards to your chest and when to let people know about your plans.
When you change your job the right way, you’ll find many that the advantages of saving your money, considering options carefully and thoroughly assessing your interests and skills will lead you to a fulfilling new career. Good luck!