Looking to change career? Here are 4 things to consider before making a big change.

Are you currently in a rut and feel like the universe isn’t working in your favor? Have had zero progression over the last two years, feel your client base getting smaller by the day, and your finances aren’t looking great.

Family and friends have been suggesting a career change for some time, and after struggling for the last few months you think it’s time you made the change.

What does a change in career entail? Where do you start? What should you consider, and will you have to go back to education or do a course? Prior to making any radical career decisions, you need to consider these essential factors. Evaluating your reasons, exploring your job options, and seeking professional advice will help you experience ultimate fulfillment in whatever career path you choose.

What are your reasons?

Ahead of hopping into a new career, you need to consider your reasoning for the career change. Why do you want to leave your current job? Are your colleagues or boss making your work difficult, or do you dislike your current career path? Do you want to make more money or progress more?

If you can answer these questions, you can confirm the why. By confirming why, it will allow you to pull yourself through when things get tough, and they will, according to ‘Motivations for Making Big Career Moves’.

People that experience deeper levels of career success don’t make moves out of desperation, nor do they look to gain elevation from their status. They evaluate every aspect. You have to take into account if the new career you wish to pursue is aligned with your skillset and interests, and if the career can provide you with the room for growth you are looking for.

Is it the best financial alternative?

As much as we would like to focus on our personal fulfilment and the love of the job, we also need to consider our financial state. We need to ensure we are financially stable.

Here is where you take a look at the numbers. How will your new career affect your financial state? Will it affect your retirement, or will it affect your family? Will your family be able to handle the possibility of having to cut back or even downsize until you get back on your feet? How many hours will you have to work per week to reach your monthly financial goals?

However, this does not mean you need to make more money if you change careers. Many people go down a tax bracket or two and are completely comfortable with the change. As long as you are happy with your finances and the prospects you’ll be getting, then it might be feasible to switch careers. If this is not the case then you may need to re-evaluate your career choices.

It is a matter of balancing your risks with the rewards.

Does the job offer any growth potential?

Changing careers might seem exhilarating, but you also have to look at the possibility of growth. Will you be able to excel up the corporate ladder, or will you find yourself in a dead-end career and regret changing your career? It may be crucial, but some jobs may not allow you to get as far up as you’d hoped. So, make sure you check if the company will help you reach your full potential and dream position.

Who can help make the transition easier?

If you don’t know by now, networking is essential in any industry, and if you are looking to change careers, you will need all the help you can get. Connecting with professionals working in the field you are interested in and asking them questions about their work. You can even shadow them and observe firsthand what the new job will entail.

If you don’t know where to start with this, you can confide in a career consultant or a mentor who could link you with professionals in the industry you are looking to enter. This will also give you an insight into whether or not the industry is a fit for you.

It would help if you made some significant tradeoffs to achieve your dreams. What are you willing to give up to achieve your life-long goals? What are the risks vs. the rewards? It would be best if you considered every aspect. You don’t want to be fooled into thinking that you’ll eliminate the struggle and worries by switching careers because you won’t. You might experience a different set of worries and struggles, and that’s fine. It’s life’s reality.

As long as your new career helps you achieve your dreams, financial expectations, values and allows you to grow, then you’re good to go. Everything else will be a bonus!