One of the monster.com sites came up with these tips – 5 worst career change mistakes. Read the article here.
Here’s my take on these mistakes (which are actually written up as tips and warnings, but that’s another story):
They advise, “Don’t Look for a Job in Another Field Without Some Intense Introspection.”
Well, I don’t know what “intense introspection” is, but I’ve seen more people make a mistake the other way. Most people get so hung up on navel-gazing that they never get around to searching for info, let alone taking action steps.
Often you don’t realize you need something till you see it … or till it’s gone.
Second, they advise, “Don’t Look for Hot Fields Unless They’re a Good Fit for You.”
That’s actually good advice. They refer to fitting yourself into the right job; I’d add that there’s no such thing as a “hot” field. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.
Similarly, they advise, “Don’t Go into a Field Because Your Friend Is Doing Well in It.”
That one’s easy: you are not your friend. Even if you have similar profiles, likes, interests, etc., you enter the field at different times with different opportunities.
Fourth, they advise, “Don’t Stick to Possibilities You Already Know About.” VERY true. I get SO frustrated when I work with clients who refuse to explore an idea I suggest to them. Of course the idea may be all wrong for them, but just the act of exploration will change you and introduce you to new possibilities.
However, I don’t recommend self-assessment “exercises” and testing. Have fun with them but let experience be your guide.
Fifth, the article says, “Don’t Let Money Be the Deciding Factor.”
Generally I agree. I’ve found that people who take pay cuts often catch up to their old salaries. They also spend less on things they used to use to relieve their stress – everything from medication to therapy to eating out.
But you have to know yourself. Living on a lower income also causes stress, especially if you have a family. How do you tell your child there’s no money to pay the vet to keep the family dog alive? How do you deal with lower health care quality? Should your kids give up music lessons?
These points are the first five mentioned in the article. i’ll continue this discussion in the next post. To get more ideas on career change, download my FREE guide here.