Guest post by Nisa Chitakasem, Founder of Position Ignition and author of Make Your Career Change Happen and 85 Mid Life Career Change Tips.
If you’re currently trying to decide whether or not to change careers, it’s a good idea to weigh up the pros and cons of making a switch. Those of us with secure jobs may be finding it hard to think of many benefits connected to taking a risk and changing things up. Look a little deeper, however, and we see that a career change indeed has many benefits.
1. An All-Age Activity
There are some things we’re too young to do. There are some things we’re too old to do. One of the great things about career change is that you can do it however old you are (provided you’re old enough to be of working age in the first place, of course!).
2. No More Stagnation
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and have felt this way for a long time, it may be because you’ve done all you can do in your current career area. We’re not advocating changing professions every time you feel a bit bored or unchallenged, but changing careers at the right times can really help us avoid stagnating at work.
3. Same Organization, Different Job
So you love your employer but you hate your work. If you want a new job but want to stay at your old company, an internal career change can give you what you want. You get to make the same commute, work in the same building and maybe even work with some of the same people but you’re now doing the kind of work that you truly love.
4. Passion Unleashed
No matter how well paid or secure your job is, you may sometimes think it’s a shame you’re not doing something you’re really passionate about. There’s no reason why you still can’t make a career out of your passions. A popular reason for changing careers is the individual’s desire to do something they can really get excited about. Think about what you really enjoy doing and then find a way to get paid for doing it.
5. A Joyous Journey
If you know how lonely and isolating the process of career change can be, you might find it odd when we say that the process is in itself a side benefit of changing careers. However, if you go about career change in the right way, you can end up going on a journey that really grows you both professionally and personally. The best way to make career change a joyous experience is to get plenty of help and support. For example, joining a career development community such as our Career Ignition Club allows you to connect with like-minded individuals also looking to take the next step in their careers.
6. Transfer of Transferable Skills
There’s no point having transferable skills if we never transfer them. Choosing a new career and working out how to use your skills in a new context is an immensely satisfying process. Using transferable skills in different roles also prepares you for using them in different life situations unrelated to work, such as parenthood or caring for an elderly parent.
7. Going Where the Jobs Are
Some people change careers not because they necessarily want to but because they have to. If you’ve just been made redundant and they’re no jobs going in your current field, switching to a career area where there is plenty of demand for labour may be the way to go.
8. Returning in Style
If you’re returning from a sabbatical, paternity/maternity leave or some other kind of career break, going back to your old job or even just to your old profession in general may feel like you’re travelling back in time – and not in a good way. You’ll have changed as a person during your break away from work, so why not change your career upon your return?
9. A Great Story
A career change can be many things, but one thing it rarely is, is dull. One bonus of changing careers is you have a great story to tell afterwards. Whether you decide to recount the experience on your personal blog, at a dinner party or while delivering a TEDTalk, your audience will be both entertained and inspired by your tale.
10. Free Money
“You couldn’t get me to change careers even if you paid me!” You may say that now, but what if you could actually get money for changing careers? Check out our post Finding Alternative Funding Options to Pay for Your Career to find out about funding sources for career changers such as research councils and public funding bodies.
Nisa Chitakasem is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. Follow her @PosIgnition