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Changing Careers? Avoid These 5 Mistakes


Perhaps the industry is not what you expected. Or maybe you are not getting along with your boss. Whatever the reason, you will want to make sure you don’t make these mistakes when looking to change careers.

And fear not! Some of the most successful people on the planet have made the transition.

Career Change Mistake #1: A Lack of (Financial) Planning

Switching jobs is hard enough; changing careers is a much more difficult challenge. Many who plan a career change think that they will simply tweak their résumé, work hard in their new job and everything will “click.”

That might be the case for a handful of job changers, but not for the vast majority. Quite often, changing careers means taking a pay cut. After all, you are starting over again, and your job title and salary could potentially take a significant hit.

Make sure you know how you will pay your bills if you have less money coming in. Many experts agree that you should save at least six months of expenses before switching careers.

Career Change Mistake #2: Not Accepting That Every Relationship Takes Work

Even in true love, there is work to be done if we want a relationship to remain fruitful and stand the test of time. The same goes for work. Every new job will call for you to change and adapt.

There will be aspects that you enjoy…and things that you can’t stand. Perfection is an illusion, so striving for the ideal job within a perfect career is usually a losing proposition.

Think of your current apartment. Would you move out because of a leaky faucet? Unlikely. Instead, you would fix the relatively minor problem because the apartment has a lot of other positive things going for it.

Think of your career in the same way. Be sure you have done all you can do to make the relationship with work, well, work!

If you have done everything within your power to make the experience a positive one but it still feels negative, it might be time to look elsewhere. Which leads us to our next common career change mistake:

Career Change Mistake #3: Confusing a Job With a Career

When our minds are clear the distinction between the two is relatively simple: A job you take for money.

A career, however, is the pursuit of a long-term ambition. Ideally, your job rides along the track of your career. Before you change careers, fully assess your job and see if your desire for change has to do with the specific job, or if it is in fact the career.

Career Change Mistake #4: Keeping Your Career Plans to Yourself

Many people tend to live in their own heads. Big decisions require that you talk about them aloud with people you trust. The feedback from others helps you identify potential pitfalls and helps you see things more clearly.

Our own view is often quite narrow, and it takes outside perspectives to help us see the full picture. So if you’re thinking of changing careers, be sure to consult with a handful of people you trust and who know you well.

You will be amazed at how important it is to express yourself aloud when it comes to major life decisions. It’s not other people’s opinions you are necessarily after, but rather coming to terms with your own career choices.

Career Change Mistake #5: Not Transitioning After a Career Transition

It takes courage to make a career change. But just because you did it once doesn’t mean you can’t do it again.

Needs and wants are constantly shifting and evolving throughout our lifetime. So if you have already made the leap once, do not put your own happiness aside because you fear judgment from your peers. Just because you have changed careers before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it again.

Changing careers takes passion, dedication and guts. We commend you for striving to discover the best you. Just make sure you lay the groundwork before you leap.

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