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Whether you’re stuck in a rut with your current job or are just looking for a new challenge, a career change is a huge decision, and there are certain factors that you should take into account before you decide to commit.

Why do you want to change?

First, think about the reasons why you want to change your career. Some of the most common reasons include a lack of interest in the role, lack of room for progress or the fact that you don’t get along with your colleagues or manager. Be very careful as to deciding whether it is your entire career that you need to change, or simply your place of work.

What do you want?

If you know it’s definitely your career path that you wish to change, consider what it is that you actually want to do. Think about what you dislike in your current line of work and what you would like to do on a day-to-day basis instead.

For example, are you unhappy with the amount of paperwork you have to complete or do you need more flexible hours to fit in with your work life balance? If it is a reason such as this, it may be that a career change is not the best move and instead you could organise a negotiation within your current role that could help solve your problem.

What are your interests and skills?

The likelihood is that you’ll have a certain skill set that you’ll have gained from your current position but consider whether or not these skills are transferable. You may be thinking that you want a complete change of career but, realistically, how achievable will this be?

If your current role is in finance, for example, it might not be logical to suddenly begin a career in journalism. Some of the most highly regarded skills that employers in all fields look for are organisational skills, communication skills, teamwork and the ability to show initiative. You should also take your interests into account to make sure that you’ll be moving somewhere that will hold your attention.

How much are you prepared to change?

It may be that the job you have now fits perfectly with your lifestyle regarding hours, location and salary so remember that if you change your career path, these things are likely to change too. Depending on the experience you have in your new and desired field, it may also be a possibility that you’ll have to start from the bottom of the ladder again which equals less status and less money. If you have a family, think about the implications this could have on them too.

Will you regret it?

It might be difficult, but try and see how this change might affect you in the long-run by looking 5 or even 10 years into the future. Will it take this amount of time to achieve once again the professional and financial status that you have now? If so, a career change may not be worth it.

You can always seek career advice

If you’re struggling with the decision, there’s nothing stopping you from seeking professional career advice. Sites such as CV-Library are packed with helpful articles and tips written by career experts that can guide you in the right direction.

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