Changing Careers – Things to Remember

Doing the 'right job' has become very important these days. As a result, people are observed making mid-career moves every now and then. It is no longer considered taboo to shift jobs even if one may have spent a decent amount of time in a certain job. What is more important for an individual is to enjoy what he does rather than spending an inordinate amount of time in a job he does not like doing.

As a result, changing career becomes imperative for a large number of people every year. In the last few decades, it is true that the choice of careers has expanded beyond imagination. One is no longer left with just a few conventional career choices of being a doctor or a teacher or a banker. Instead, new age careers have come up that offer the combination of good money as well as a satisfying work profile.

Before one embarks on a decision to change careers, it is essential to consider some points.

1. Decide Which Career To Opt For: There are a whole lot of resources available on the internet or in books that talk about the various career choices in the job market. Before deciding on which career to opt for, one should conduct adequate research about the new job. This would be important to ensure that once one changes his/her career to a new field, it doesn't come across as an unpleasant experience.

2. Tailoring the Resume: Once one decides on a new career avenue, it is important to tailor the existing resume to match the skill sets that the new career demands. One would also need to customize the covering letter with regard to the specific company one applies.

3. Skill Enhancement:  Although one's skills might be usable to a large extent in the new career, there are times when changing careers requires certain skills to be enhanced as well. One might, for example, shift from sales to marketing which would require familiarity with marketing concepts. In such cases, one should either sign up for a short refresher course or take a brief sabbatical to get a specialized degree from a college before getting employment.

4. Employing Patience: It is important to note that the path for changing careers is strewn with rocks and stones, so patience is a virtue that needs to be adopted. It is easy to get frustrated when one fails to get a positive response from potential employers. However, one should not lose patience but keep on applying till one gets the job of his/her choice.

In addition to the things listed above that discuss what one "should" do; there are a number of things to beware of. A random list of 'don'ts' is:

- Do not confuse changing jobs with changing careers. Changing careers is a major decision and should be taken only after sufficient research and thought has gone into it.

- Changing careers only for money is a bad idea. In most cases, people fail to realize that there is a cost to pay for a higher compensation in the form of more travel or longer working hours.

- Changing careers to a new one without making a realistic assessment of one's skills and strengths might be disastrous.