If you are thinking of changing your career, this may
not be the first time. Most people change their careers
several times in their lifespan, and the frequency of this
happening is increasing. Many are forced to change. For
example, their industry has moved to other countries, like
textiles and manufacturing have recently; their jobs and
careers have gone with them. Others choose to change. Some
are looking for more meaningful work, or a brighter future.
Many are dissatisfied with their job and want to find a
more satisfying career.
Regardless of your reasons, you want to take the time and make the effort needed
to ensure that you don't make a decision you will regret. You also want to anticipate and plan on how to handle problems you will face along the way.
And, you will likely want to consider self-employment.
As you work on this, keep an electronic or paper "Career Change" folder. In it you will
keep the ideas you jot down, items you clip or print out, and anything else
relevant. Be sure to write your ideas down. It is important and helpful. Review
your folder from time to time, and reflect on its contents. When you are finished,
keep your folder for the next time around.
You will make your best decision if you follow these three principles:
- Know Yourself
You want to clearly understand why you want to change. By understanding the reasons,
you can make a more rational choice. More
. . .
You want to understand your personality, values, skills, and abilities so you
can find the careers that fit you best. More
. . .
- Know Your Options
Think of as many alternatives as you can. And, then learn about each one. More
. . .
- Make a Good Decision
Follow a simple, scientific method of decision making. Consider getting professional
help. More . . .
Parts of this article are adapted from an earlier
article by Dr.
Loretta J. Bradley, with her permission:
Bradley, L. J. (1992). Career changes at midlife. In
L. K. Jones (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Career Change and
Work Issues (pp. 30-32). Phoenix: The Oryx Press. Dr.
Bradley is a Paul Whitefield Professor at Texas Tech
University and has received numerous prestigious awards
for her research, writings, and leadership in the counseling