Career Change Advice for the Responsible Adult
There is a common fantasy. That moment where we storm into the boss’ office, let a few insults spew out, and then quit. Quitting is the easy part. It’s what comes after that is hard. When my mother quit fifteen years ago, she had no idea what she wanted to do career wise. All she knew is that she couldn’t go back to that little cubicle and accept phone calls from belligerent and panicked customers anymore. Based on my second hand knowledge and my first hand observations from the outside here are some pointers to streamline your path to a new career.
Financial Planning Before You Quit
As dramatic and thrilling as spur of the moment decisions to quit are, such an action should be reserved for teenagers. Adults have more responsibilities to consider before making a major life decision. We have bills to pay, food to buy, and in some cases children to care for. In today’s current job climate a substantial sum in your savings account might not hold you over until you can locate another job. It is important to know how you will afford to live without the job. And where the that you will use to live will come from.
Research Possible Career Decisions
Unless your job is doing some pretty unsavory things or you know that you have a few months before you are hurting for money, you should not quit before you have some idea what you want to do after. I would urge anyone planning to pursue a totally new career to do some research job fields that have a high demand for workers, but not enough qualified people to fill all the positions. For example currently there is a demand for medical assistants. Individuals who attend one of the many medical assistant schools are looking at a 31% increase in the available jobs by 2020. Even if you choose to go for a future career that is not currently looking for tons of people, this knowledge will at least let you know how competitive and prolonged the job search might be.
Find a Job or Apply to a Higher Education School Before You Quit
One aspect of an easy experience changing careers is limiting the amount of time that you will be without work. That being said if you can obtain a new job or apply to the school of your choice before you quite, you will eliminate the stress involved in changing careers. If you decide to attend a school, it might be helpful to find a part time job to supplement your income while attending your chosen college or trade school.
While You’re In Quitting Limbo
One of the major pieces of advice is to think carefully before deciding to tell your boss that you are finding a new job. Informing your work that you are leaving is the responsible thing to do, but you should be careful to think carefully about if and when you should give notification before quitting. Why? Many employers do not keep employees that are jumping ship around. I know of two instances where employees gave their boss the standard two-weeks-notice and their bosses fired them on the spot.
Not all employers are like this, but if you think that your employer might repay your sense of responsibility with an immediate termination do not give notice, especially if you are reliant on the current job to pay the bills.
Sometimes people need a career change, but a career change can quickly turn ugly if unprepared. If you decide to change careers, you should be sure that you have a plan and are prepared for life after the current job.