7 Mistakes People Make When Changing Careers

For many people a job is more than an income – it’s an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life.

― Paul Clitheroe

We pursue certain things for either of the two reasons: (i) because we stumble upon them by accident and develop a liking by chance; or (ii) because we aspire them and work towards attaining them. Choosing and building a line of career is largely based on these two reasons. A career is a cumulative effect of serious choices we make to reach a decided professional milestone. For some people, a career becomes an eventuality of their academic efforts, while for others, it turns out to be an interest they may have picked up. Whatever may be the reason, all these decisions about career goals are subject to change.

A change of career has many supporting reasons. For instance, it is a point of professional burnout for some, a dream to be an employer and not just an employee, a chance to develop different skills, and many more such reasons. However, your rash decision to switch careers and start afresh can prove to be terribly wrong, if not taken wisely. This leap of faith can end up being both, a financial and professional loss. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes people make when changing careers so that you can use them as a reference while shifting careers.

Biggest Career-change Mistakes

Not Saving Enough

High-paying jobs give us the luxury of several credit cards and access to things we did not have before. Amidst all this, we conveniently forget saving for the rainy day. While career changers are in a transition, having a poor bank balance makes them choose between survival and career growth. Such a challenge can deviate the focus from new projects and create unwanted hurdles.

Forgetting Core Competencies

A lot of people consider career change to be shifting their style of working entirely. Although this can be true, it is also important to remember that your core competency is what got you so far. Sadly, most career changers let go of their previous career strengths and achievements and jump into a completely unknown territory with very little clue of what to do. This makes them feel like fish out of water, and with little knowledge, the new path seems troublesome to begin with.

When the Time is Right

We always give ourselves assurances about starting a project on a Monday or on the first day of a particular month. But these promises seldom come true, because there is no such perfect time to start something. The moment is now! Any time later would only mean delaying what you could have done with your time at this very moment. The sooner you get to work, the faster you will reap the benefits of your hard work.

Too Many Ideas

They say, too many cooks spoil the broth. The same holds true for working with multiple ideas at the same time. Though you may have a creative mind on an imaginative spree, nail one idea which you intend to take forward commercially. The more the number of ideas, greater are the complications of making them work in reality.

Lack of Planning

Making a career switch takes some serious planning. For instance, switching fields of work might require you to get new certifications, a substantial experience, or a validating degree. Taking a leap of faith in such a case would prove to be reckless. Planning plays an important role while changing careers. To build a career, it takes several years of dedication and hard work. Giving it up for a moment of unplanned whimsy may not work in your favor.

Great Expectations

The other big mistake made by career changers is expecting too much from a shift. What they forget is that no dream can be realized overnight. It takes years of efforts and perseverance to accomplish your goals. With great expectations, losing heart is very easy, but keeping the flame of motivation burning with just the slightest ray of hope requires real effort.

Quitting Easily

The last and final biggest mistake most people make while changing careers is giving up too quickly. Making a successful career change requires serious commitment. It is a result of overlooking disappointments and getting up every time you have been let down. Most people give up on their career moves because it becomes a difficult path to tread. However, nothing great comes without making the greatest of efforts.

Scores of professionals find themselves stuck in a place that is intellectually suffocating them. Although most of them want to move out, seldom do they make an effort to get out and grab the dream they’ve always harbored. Shifting careers is about realizing your true potential and calling in life. No matter how often you may have seen this dream, it is true that none of it materializes without undying efforts.