Need to Change Jobs? How to Determine the Right Career Move for You
Making a career move is a big decision that involves a lot of different things. You have to think about where you are now, what you want to do, and how you are going to get there. For most of us, we also have to think about paying the bills and even supporting a family while making the change. With so much to consider, you definitely want to do your homework and make the best decision you can. To help with the process, here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind as you search for the right career move for you.
Research Job Trends
One thing you certainly want to avoid is leaving one job and spending a lot of time and training working toward another career option, only to find that there are few positions in your new field. While you do want to think about following your passion as you decide on career options, you also want to be practical about future prospects in any given field. You can look into statistics and projections for job growth for a field that interests you, or you can look into the top growing fields1 to see if any spark a true interest in you. For instance, the market for software developers is expected to grow by 31% over the next several years. If that seems like something you would want to dedicate your next career move to, then you have some good data to support your decision.
What Does the World Need?
In a similar way, you can think about what general needs that have arisen or will arise in the world and the community around you. Healthcare is a field that continues to grow2, and as health issues like aging and chronic illnesses increase, there will be a greater need for professionals in the field. The demand for health service managers3, for example, is expected to rise by 20% over the next several years. Careers like these address a societal need and have potential for job growth.
Think in Terms of Skills
If a specific career doesn’t come to mind immediately, break it down into specific skills. According to Inc.com4, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates. The top skills listed in an analysis of LinkedIn5 can help you see what specific attributes they are looking for. You can use this information to see what aligns with your interests and what jobs make the most use of these in-demand skills.
Throughout this process, you should ask yourself, what am I good at? Also remember to think about what you enjoy doing. If there is a demand for specific skills that you enjoy, explore them and what job possibilities can line up with them.
Find Where You Can Get the Necessary Skills
Once you have a better idea of the types of skills that are in demand, that interest you, and that you want to explore further, take a look into how you can develop them. What schooling or training will you need to get the level of competency required? Luckily, there are programs out there that are designed to prepare people for today’s economy, and the economy of the future.
Talk with Someone in the Field
Once you have a career track in mind, look up leading companies and professionals and talk to people in your area about their jobs, their work, and what they look for in job candidates. Informational interviews are great for learning more about a career path before you start on it. This will give you a much clearer idea of what your career could look like once you have the training to get into the field.
These interviews are also excellent for networking. Imagine talking to an IT or marketing executive about their company and their work and then coming back to them two years later to apply for an open position. You will already have contacts in your desired field, and they will be impressed by your interest and the thought that you put into your career planning.
Make a Plan
Changing careers takes work. That work will require planning. You’ll need to plan your schooling, work, goals, and time management. By making a clear plan, asking questions and getting practical advice from people in-the-know, you’ll have the information you need to get started on your path to an exciting and rewarding new career.