It can be quite stressful to change your career, especially if you have been in your recent career or profession for a while now. But that might probably be one of the reasons for you to seek a change. Why is a career change hard, then?
Doing something new is always scary since it can be difficult to know what to expect. A career change involves the same kind of fear that is also blended in with some other practical difficulties.
To get a deeper insight into why career change is hard, you can go through the following reasons along with ways in which you can make this process easier for yourself.
Let’s get started!
Why Career Change Is Hard
According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory offered by the American Institute of Stress, changing a career can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, right there in the top 20.
Why exactly is it so difficult? Take a look.
One of the most difficult things about changing your career has more to do with the transition process itself. After being used to having a routine and knowing what you want to do, suddenly having to change your professional life can seem like a daunting task.
In particular, if you have been feeling extremely exhausted and unhappy in your career, making the decision to leave it can require a lot of courage from your end.
It can be difficult to figure out the next steps while also managing to keep yourself and your family and/or dependents afloat.
Further, having to settle into a slower pace of life, even if temporary, is not always as easy as it sounds. While it might offer you a good break, it can also force you to deal with questions that you might have been avoiding for too long.
It might also cause you to question your decision. To ease yourself into the transition process, it can help to allow yourself some time to get back into the right mindset so that you can figure out your next steps more successfully.
Finding things to do just for yourself and with your loved ones can also help you advance.
Financial constraints are definitely something that you might end up facing when it comes to a career change, especially if the decision to change your career was sudden.
With a secure job, you have the assurance of receiving a fixed paycheck each month that can provide a steady income to get you and your loved ones through all your relevant purchases.
Changing a career can take away this steady income on a temporary basis. It can also be difficult to find something that can pay you equally well or even better. In fact, this might end up taking a while until you actually settle into your new career.
It is important to plan ahead when it comes to dealing with such financial concerns. Even if you have made up your mind about changing your career, it can be better to save some money and create a plan that can get you through the next few months.
If you have kids or dependents, then it can help to put aside some money for them as well. You might also need to create a budget when it comes to how much you can spend during this transition period.
Doing this can help you ease into the transition as well as your new career. Doing some research into the salary range of your new career can also help you set realistic expectations.
When it comes to changing your career, you will also need to make several sacrifices regarding your new career. This can end up creating a bit of stress and anxiety since you might not be able to enjoy the benefits of your previous career or profession anymore.
Even if your previous career might not have been fulfilling enough, it is also likely to have given you a steady routine, familiar people, established professional relationships and expectations as well as several financial and employee benefits.
Leaving this career behind can mean that you will have to sacrifice these benefits and familiarity to venture into something new, which can be rightfully terrifying.
You might also have to sacrifice some of your salary for an initial lower salary. In turn, however, you might finally be able to experience satisfaction and fulfillment in your new career.
It can also take some time for you to get used to your new career and the people that come along with it. It might also require more of your time and effort in the initial stages, taking away time from your loved ones and other hobbies.
Lack of Clarity
A lack of clarity about the next phase of your life and your new career can also make career change quite difficult to navigate.
In fact, the desperate need to change your career can also lead you to make hasty decisions that can decrease these clarity levels even more. It is important to make sure that you do not leave your career for a new one without giving it enough thought.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to figure out what exactly it is that you want to. Figure out the next few steps and have backup plans in case these steps do not work out.
You should also do some research about your new career so that you can set realistic expectations for yourself. Ask yourself questions such as what kind of career you want, what you expect from it, what your values are, what your skills and passions are and more.
It can help to consult career coaches and take tests that can ease this process for you.
In case you are changing your career in a time of worldwide recession or event, then it can be even more difficult for you to find clarity. For instance, in the COVID-19 pandemic, if you are one of the millions of people looking for a career change, then you should prepare well for it.
Feeling Insecure after a Career Switch
Feelings of insecurity after changing your career are also quite common but no less easy to deal with. You might end up questioning your decision as well as your skills when it comes to your new career.
You might also feel concerned about whether or not you have chosen the right career for yourself. Being new to the career as well as potentially a bit older than other starters in the same career, it can be easy to feel insecure about your abilities, wondering how long it will take for you to establish yourself.
Essentially, since you are starting out from scratch, there might be a lot of questions in your mind. It is important to remind yourself of your skills and requirements so that you can work towards building yourself.
Give yourself some time to get used to the ropes of your new career so that you can go step-by-step to reach the point you want to.
Is a Career Change Worth It?
Now that you know why a career change is hard, you might be wondering whether it is even worth it or not. If there are so many difficulties that you must deal with, should you go ahead with your plan or should you stay in the safety net of your established career?
Ultimately, this depends on your current career and your expectations. If you have been unhappy for a long time in your career, then it can definitely be worth exploring the aspect of a new career.
It is, however, important to not rush into this kind of decision. Look at it in a realistic way, take some advice and plan out your next few steps before you change your career.
How to Make a Career Change Easier
As difficult as a career change can be, it is also possible for you to make the entire process easier for yourself. Go through some things that you can do to ease yourself into the change.
- Do not leave your current career immediately unless you cannot control it. Make sure you give yourself time to think about the decision while also doing some research into how you will proceed once you change your career.
- Start saving some money so that you can have something to fall back on during the transition process.
- Figure out the skills that you will need for your new career so that you can work on improving those skills. This will allow you to reduce the feelings of insecurity to a certain extent.
- Take as much advice as you can! Read books, talk to career coaches, speak to professionals in the career and discuss your plans with your loved ones.
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It is clear that a career change is hard due to the transition period, financial constraints, making sacrifices, lack of clarity and feelings of insecurity. It is essential to ease into the process and plan ahead so that you can make the process easier.