Scotia Investments

Financial Learning Centre

Scotia Investments Financial Learning Centre

Money Management Guide - Changing Your Career? (Avoid mistakes)

Changing your career is not always easy. Think and re-think before making this decision, and weigh your present situation carefully. For instance, if you're good at the job you do and getting a good salary, and your only problem may be too much work; this might not be reason enough to change careers.

However, if you find that your job isn't challenging enough and, as a result, hinders you from performing to the best of your ability, or you're sitting on a talent you're not being able to use, then you may have to make the switch to prevent yourself from being unhappy.

There are many factors to consider to ensure that such a move will be beneficial to you.

Look before you leap

Nothing is worse than jumping into something as bad as what you previously had. Before making such an important decision, conduct the required research by obtaining thorough information about the field you'd like to go into. Ensure that the positives you'll obtain from this change outweigh the negatives, and you will not in essence, be creating further misery in your life. Also, when you're looking for a new career, do not base your decision on the fact that it works for a colleague of yours, so therefore it must work for you; this may not be so. You will just be setting yourself up for a major disappointment.

Consult career counsellors to assist you in making your decision. However, note that they are only facilitators; you are the one who will have to conduct your own research and decide on the field you want to enter.

Money should not be your deciding factor

No amount of money will make you happy if your job doesn't suit you. It is advised that you aim for a profession you enjoy, or for the most part, can be comfortable with. Dissatisfaction at the office will lead to stress, and possibly a health problem.

So if you're planning to switch fields (especially if you've already spent most of your life in one), at least choose one that suits you and not only because it pays well. Aim to expand your perception of what works for you, as in the end you may be surprised that the career you're most happy in, isn't'the one you originally saw yourself doing.

Confide in someone you trust

Feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration may take a toll on you. So do not keep these emotions to yourself. Share this with people you trust, like close friends and family. In turn they may be able to give you good advice, recommend suitable career options, as well as offer their support. In some cases, they may even be able to help you get into the field you're considering, and positions that probably weren't even advertised.

Test the field before going back to school

It's not too late to try and gain work experience in a particular field; unless you want to become a lawyer or doctor (which will take you several years to complete considering that you'you'll have to go back to school.) You can volunteer to work at an organization of your, to gain some experience in your area of interest. At least you'you'll be aware of what you'd be getting yourself into, and if you choose to go back to school, you would not be wasting your money and time. It is important to note that in some cases a new degree may or may not make much of a difference, when changing your career; the experience you might have gained may mean more to some employers.

Don't expect to change your career overnight, because if you'you'll be conducting thorough research, then a career change may take a minimum of six months; not taking into account individuals who decide to go back to school.

If you are certain that you'll be changing your career in the near future, then ensure that you are financially prepared. Consider the monetary implications of your decision; more so if you have dependents. Will you be resigning from your position? If so, you need enough money to get by until you find another source of income. Is it a case where you'll be returning to school? Then it is best to save towards your tuition and other expenses. If you're planning to own your own business, start investing now to secure your future capital. Do not give yourself the added pressure of having major financial problems because of your choice to change careers. Plan your future wisely!