Changing careers is not a simple task to accomplish. For many professionals, it means giving up premium salaries, job perks, benefits, and even colleagues. However, all of those things are details, nothing more. If you are truly good at what you do, you will be just as good (if not better) at a career that you truly enjoy.
Overcoming the obstacles to career change is a daunting task, and many people who would love to switch professions don’t simply because they’re afraid at failing in the process. In reality, there are four major barriers to overcome, and each can be handled with the right amount of planning and diligence.
- Loss of income. When you switch careers you can expect to lose your income for a short period while you are transitioning from one job to the next. This may be a complete loss of income or a transition to a significantly lower paying job.In either situation, the only way to be able to handle this effectively is to ensure that you have at least four months worth of living expenses saved that you can draw upon during the process. You should also try and pay off as much as your debt as possible before you make the change so that you have less obligations during your transitional period.
- Loss of authority. Many professionals have spent years moving up the ladder to positions that have prestige or authority, such as management positions. When you change careers you may not change to a position that is of equal significance in your new career.This is to be expected, after all, as you have not put in the legwork for that particular career path. The only way to handle this is to accept what you cannot change and embrace what you can- like anything, you will move up over time.
- Loss of respect among peers. If you choose to leave your marketing position to become social worker you can expect some level of resentment among your current peers. Ignore their comments- you’re making the change for yourself, not for them.
- Lack of understanding by friends or family. At the end of the day, it is your support system that is going to make a huge difference in whether or not you succeed at your endeavors. They don’t need to understand you or your reasons for making the change, only that you are doing it.Don’t sweat the small stuff. Unless your wife or husband is threatening to leave you because of your career change you have no reason to stress; you’re changing careers because you want to, and no one else needs to understand that but you.
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