Reasons to Leave a Job
Leaving the security of one job to pursue another is not a small decision. Sometimes the decision is not your own – you are forced to change careers due to the shut-down of a facility, lay-offs, a company merger, or a family move. You are probably asking yourself "What should I do for a career?" Fortunately, when the choice is yours, you should know your reasons for seeking new career opportunities.
Job Change Checklist
With so much uncertainty in today’s job market, and with the number of people leaving their jobs at an all-time high, you may be thinking this is the perfect time to consider new career opportunities. Before you jump ship from your current role, however, there are several things to consider for a successful career change in 2022. Let’s look at 10 of our best tips!
Decide what you want
This is a key self-assessment, and the outcome will guide the next steps of your job change. If you are generally happy in the role you have but your current job isn’t a good fit because of poor leadership or a toxic culture, then finding a similar role with another company may be your best move. If you have reached the limit of advancement opportunities in your current position and you’re ready to move up, then you may need to explore what options exist for using your skills and experience in a more responsible role. On the other hand, if you have discovered that the industry you are in is no longer satisfying, it may be time to return to school to earn an accelerated online bachelor’s or master’s degree in a whole new field.
Explore internal opportunities
If you are seeking career advancement and you are otherwise happy with your current employer, it is worth meeting with your manager or human resources professional to explore internal opportunities that you either qualify for now or that you would qualify for with additional education. After all, your company already knows you and you know them. Superiors tend to prefer to hire from within rather than go with an external candidate. Discuss what you would need to do to be considered for current or future opportunities and start earning those credentials. For example, a business administration degree will often prepare you for a promotion into management.
Determine your salary needs
Another reason people leave their current job is because of a need for more pay. It will be prudent here to research current salary trends for the role you seek, how your company compares to the average, and if you have the required skills and experience to garner a higher salary. If you are looking to change careers to earn a bigger paycheck, be sure you balance your desire for more money with a career that will also provide job satisfaction. As the saying goes, there’s more to life than money, and few things prove that more than a bad job fit.
Which Careers are in Demand?
If you are ready to move out of your current career, you want to make sure you will be able to find a job in your new field of choice.
Research the most needed jobs
Your interests can likely be pursued within many industries, so find the most in-demand ones. For example, jobs in health care are consistently available, so a degree in nursing or health care administration are both avenues you could pursue. You can prepare for a job in business with a business administration degree while earning a degree in counseling or a teaching degree will prepare you for those in-demand fields. Searching places like Indeed will help you find other industries that have the most job openings, along with the skills required to land them.
Utilize job boards and social media
You never know where you might strike gold in the jobs market, so it’s important to employ a variety of job boards and social media platforms, not only for identifying the trends but also for finding the jobs to apply for. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; instead, use all the tools and resources at your disposal to give yourself the most exposure. Also, visit websites of companies you’re interested in; check with the local chamber of commerce; even pound the pavement to yield the most results.
Identify Gaps in Your Skills and Experience
Whether you are seeking career advancement, a higher salary, or an entirely new career, you are bound to find holes in both your skills and experience when researching new opportunities.
Identify skills gaps
The key here is to determine which ones are deal-breakers and develop a strategy for acquiring them. That may mean honing your skills for working remotely (a requirement for many jobs today), pursuing professional development, enrolling in a college course, gaining certification, or earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you want to be competitive in your job search, closing the skills gap isn’t really negotiable. And if you need to gain some experience, volunteering is a wonderful way to acquire and practice new skills for putting on your resume.
Update your resume and social profiles
This might seem like a no-brainer but having an up-to-date resume always at the ready is imperative. You will also want to have a well-crafted cover letter that can be easily modified for specific jobs. Identify and contact references relevant to the various roles you may apply for, and if you have a portfolio of your work, keep it updated with current examples. Don’t forget to create or update your LinkedIn profile so it is robust, even using keywords that will help recruiters or HR personnel find you easily. Finally, clean up your social media accounts so that nothing is embarrassing or inappropriate that might hurt your hiring chances.
Steps for Making a Career Transition
Whether you’re trying to decide why you want to change careers, which industry to move into, whether to stay with your current employer, or whether to accept a job offer, making a list of pros and cons, following a job search plan, and using your network will help make the transition a smooth one.
Identify the pros and cons
There will always be cons on your list, but the important thing is to identify which items are non-negotiable and which you can live with for things like work environment, salary, type of management, size of company, overtime requirements, etc. In other words, know what you want and what you don’t want. Keep the long-range in view – is this something you can live with 2, 5, 10 years down the road?
Make a list of careers
Seeking a new job or career is a job in itself. Unless you are under the gun, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping your current job while going back to school or seeking new opportunities will reduce the stress of the transition. Make a list of careers and develop a job search plan to alleviate your stress. Determine how much time you will spend searching for, applying for, and following up on jobs each week. Keep track of where you’ve applied, who you’ve followed up with, who you’ve heard back from, and outcomes. Be as systematic as possible. If you’re wondering if you should apply for a specific job, check your pros and cons list. If it’s a good match and you have at least 75% of the skills required, go ahead and apply. You just might fill a niche with your particular skill set. Be sure to give yourself a day or two off each week to refocus, too.
Look at your network
This one should come as no surprise. One of your best resources is who you know. Comb through your digital Rolodex to identify who might be able to identify job openings within their company, be a reference, help you become familiar with your industry of interest, provide an introduction, help you develop a new skill, or mentor you. You can also attend industry conventions or conferences and local business events in your area to widen your network.
What Should I Do for a Career?
2022 has yet to show us exactly what career opportunities will rise to the top, but there are known trends to consider. when identifying the reasons for leaving a job. Whether you are interested in starting a career in health care, education, and counseling, or if you are more intrigued with pursuing job opportunities in math, technology, human services, population health, and finance, Ottawa University offers accelerated online degrees that can lead to satisfying lifelong careers. With convenient locations in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix, as well as numerous fully online programs, Ottawa University is a non-profit, fully accredited liberal arts college grounded in critical thinking and Christian heritage. Contact us to start the journey towards your 2022 career change today!