All things being equal, making a career transition can be hard enough as it is. But all things are rarely equal.
One of the biggest fears we see in clients who are looking to make a change is that they will have to step backwards to get into the field that they truly desire.
They feel stuck because they are afraid they will have to take a pay cut. They fear losing the seniority, vacation time and benefits that they have worked so hard over the years to achieve.
And what if they make the move and it turns out not to be worth it? What if they make the move only to discover that they have made a terrible mistake?
Too often, well-meaning friends and family members help to fuel these fears.
Your peers may want what’s best for you but they usually see the risk much more clearly than they see the reward.
They advise security over the unknown.
The good news is that making a shift in your career doesn’t always mean you have to take a step backward.
You really don’t have to give up on your dreams and stay in a job that no longer suits you just to have security.
Some people know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their working lives. Others only have a vague sense that they’re no longer happy in their present job but they aren’t sure what will make them happy.
Whatever side of the coin you are on, a Careers by Design coach can help you determine what your next steps should be.
Using our proven and unique approach, our coaches will take you through a series of exercises to put you in touch with your true desires and then help you develop strategies for achieving them. This helps to make your career transition much easier.
No longer are you reacting to a situation of dissatisfaction with your current job, but you are taking calculated and thoughtful steps toward taking the career path that is right for you.
We will even advise you on how your current skills can translate into your new position and how to negotiate a job offer so you won’t necessarily have to start at the bottom.
Once you can see your new career path clearly, fear of the unknown starts to disappear. You will have a clearer mind which will be of great benefit to you when you apply for a new position or go to an interview.
Depending on your particular career transition, it is still possible that you’ll end up making less money. Perhaps your benefits won’t be as good. Or maybe the new position won’t have all the same perks.
We can’t guarantee this will never happen.
Then again, what if the new position you find has more perks than you’ve ever dreamed of. What if you experience an increase of confidence because you’re doing work that is meaningful to you?
What if you have an extra spring in your step that you haven’t had in years?
What if you have a better relationship with your family because you aren’t stressed out all time?
And, what if you actually get paid more?
Even if a career transition reduces your income initially, if you are happier and more productive at work, it could cause your earning potential to go up higher than it would have gone had you stayed in a position you didn’t like.
While we can’t give advice specific to your situation in a blog, here are a few scenarios when it might be worth it to take a step back in order to make a career transition:
• When you are changing industries – if you are just dying to get into a different field, then taking a pay cut or a step back in seniority may be worth it to get the career that you really want.
• When you need more work-life balance – no paycheck is big enough to sacrifice your health or your time with your family. Giving up some of your current job’s perks for some added flexibility can be a very good thing.
• When the new opportunity is a better fit – maybe you want to make a change because there is a position at a specific company that you would like to work for, or because you saw a job posting that you just knew in your gut was meant for you. In this case, even if you have to take a step back in the short term, you could end up being much happier with your career.
• When it all evens out – A pay cut doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in lifestyle. For example, perhaps you have a great-paying job with a long commute. If you can get something closer to home that pays less, you may be able to save enough on gas and car maintenance that a pay cut won’t matter.
• When the new job offers a benefit your current job doesn’t – Money and seniority aren’t the only perks. Perhaps you’d be willing to give up some of this for more vacation time, performance bonuses or paid tuition. If the new job offers something you want more, then making the switch may be the right move.
• When there is no more room for advancement – Perhaps you’ve gone as far as you can go in your current company. Maybe you have maxed out on your salary potential. If so, taking a position in a fast growing company may help you to get out of your rut. A short term cut in pay could end up paying you much more in the end.
• When you want to be self-employed - Taking the leap into self-employment can be a scary step because it means giving up a certain amount of security. But if you’ve always dreamed of working for yourself, the trade-off can be worth it.
Changing careers is not a decision that you should make on blind emotion.
After all, you still have to pay your bills and take care of your family.
But it’s also important to take care of yourself and honour your instincts and feelings.
A Careers by Design coach can help you decide when and how to change careers so that you will have peace about your decision.
Call us today at 1-888-977-6284 or learn more about our unique approach.
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