With rapid technological and digital development, there is no longer a single path to a successful career. People used to believe that loyalty to a single company paves the way to a shining and stable career; and now nearly everyone acknowledges that several career changes in one’s life are the most necessary, as they open up new life chapters, lead to more personal growth or just simply help people to keep up with booming trends and the external world. In industries that are built upon technologies, for instance the Internet industry, people itch for new opportunities after spending 1.5 or 2 years on a job position in a company.
However the job marketplace turns out to be in the modern days, always remember that a good career change should be a personal yet strategic decision. From our recruiting and career consulting experience, we have seen candidates who would like to change their jobs fairly intuitively or out of their fear of missing out promising industries or positions. These candidates forgot to question themselves on the kernel of career development: what am I going after with a job change, what life-long goal does it contribute to, and where is it leading me for my career and life?
If you are considering what is next for you in your career, we strongly recommend you to evaluate the reasons that motivate or force you to change your current job. Thus, we prepare the following dos and don’ts to help you finish an effective assessment before you make a move.
1. Discuss with trustworthy professionals around you
The moment that you think about changing your job, you would start to have doubts about your skillset and value. Don’t keep it to yourself, as you probably can’t find any positive solution but discourage yourself; share what’s on your mind with people you trust especially when it comes to career development and personal growth, be it a friend or a career consultant. You need objective and enlightening advice from the outside to clear the dark clouds.
2. Do your research
Research is the key word for lots of career-related topics. We aren’t repeating ourselves, instead we do believe that you need to search for in-depth informations and relevant occurring about industries, companies and positions that interest you. While researching, you will naturally highlight opportunities that fit you and eliminate others that won’t benefit you that much. Consider it as a self-exploration, or a chance to actively learn something new.
3. Prioritize what you want to achieve in your next job
Let’s be realistic that no job on earth is perfect. Don’t expect too much of any employer, whether it is the current one or the next promising one. If you feel quite determined to seek for a new position, put down everything that you want from it on a piece of paper and prioritize all the items. The prioritized ones serve as your own useful measurements, which will keep you clear-minded in the journey of job seeking.
4. Reflect on your strengths and value
Before your skills and value are assessed by others, are you sure of your grounds? Do you know what has constituted your previous career achievements and what will contribute to success ahead? Try to take enough me-time to reflect on what you are good at and what value you can bring to the next employer. It will definitely make you feel more grounded and confident.
5. Identify your own life-long goal
If a life-long goal is missing, a career change can only be a temporary painkiller. Ask yourself what you aspire for in your life, and make sure that you don’t use other people’s criteria to give yourself a hard time. It is very understandable if you just want to make a good living, support your family better or have a more reasonable balance between work and life; after all, not everyone should be motivated by a noble mission or calling. Once you know what you dream about in your lifetime, you will be more goal-oriented and determined.
1. Don’t let external trends misguide you
Trends are important to know, but not mandatory to follow. Don’t be easily misled or manipulated by industry analyses on the media. If you feel interested, do some fact-checking and summarize your own findings, to see if you really need to be part of a trend by jumping in a certain industry or position.
2. Don’t underestimate coming challenges
Now when people change jobs, they tend to pick positions that are not the same as what they have had. In other words, your next adventure may not seem familiar. Exciting as it is, it requires you to pump up yourself to learn new skills and leave some space for differences that go beyond your imagination.
3. Don’t be scared
For people who have spent years in conventional industries and are dreaming about moving onto advancing ones, browsing relevant job positions can be frightening. Try to cool down, locate the anxieties and look for solutions. You can always look it up on the Internet or turn to a career consultant for proper answers to your questions, yet being scared won’t take you anywhere close to a better career.
4. Don’t ignore the importance of a back-up plan
Changing a job takes more time than you think, so you should be patient enough to go through every stage of it, without causing disturbing troubles for yourself. Don’t quit out of sentimental reasons before you literally know where you are going next. If you feel sure about taking a gap period, make sure that you are also ready financially…A back-up plan can always give you a sense of security, which deserves your attention and efforts.
5. Don’t give up
If you happen to fail in a job application or interview, don’t be discouraged. As the cliché goes, it isn’t the end of the world. A failure of this kind just means that you might not be a fit for a certain employer; it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Never take it to the extreme, but consider it as a right timing to test if you are pursuing something that fits you and you are fit for.