A Smooth Transition for Switching Careers

A Smooth Transition for Switching Careers – Artículo Breve

When Andres Arriola graduated with a degree in psychology he thought he was set for life. He set up a clinical practice, rented an office, joined the Chamber of Commerce, and advertised for clients.

Set for life? Hardly!

The practice was slow to grow, and in fact, after five years, Arriola could not meet his modest monthly living expenses. He was faced with a life decision–and decided to change careers.

Louie Fraconi was in a high-powered job, and his raging blood pressure and heart palpitations prompted his doctor to advise him to seek out a less-pressured line of work. In his case, switching careers could be life-saving.

Career advisors say career changes are often financially and professionally risky but that they can be the perfect tonic for people who have gotten stale or frustrated or disenchanted in their jobs.

“When the economy is weak, people may hate what they do, but they stay because they are concerned that they’ll never get another job,” says Sandra Young, a partner in a career focus firm. “When the economy is strong and jobs are plentiful, they start to look,” she added.

Each individual must search his or her own motivation, and determine whether an itch to switch careers is based on sound good sense. Among other things, people need to consider whether they are in the wrong career–or because something is wrong in their personal lives.

First and foremost to consider is how much of your self-identity is tied to what YOU do, particularly if you’re considering giving up a prestigious profession.

It is a fact that when people get together socially, the work they do is usually the second question asked, after inquiring of an individual’s name. Some people drop the idea of switching careers after evaluating what their current line of work means to them, opting instead for less drastic moves such as altering their job duties or joining a new company.

Tomas Reyes was a teacher who grew tired of dealing with public school bureaucracies and out-of-control children. He realized that he loved the profession of teaching, but was not cut out for the vagaries of primary school youngsters. It took Tomas two years of seeking out other options, and he finally landed a job in the corporate training field. He was still “teaching” but happier in an adult setting. Good advice to remember if you are thinking of shifting gears is to opt for more subtle career changes. Take advantage of your education, work experience and business contacts. To make a drastic change is almost always not in your best interest.

If you long to work for yourself, it might be a slow process. If you apply your entrepreneurial skills, try to make a niche in an existing industry, and run a thorough check on the existing competition before you embark on a new venture.

With a sluggish economy, as existed in the early 1990’s, switching careers was generally too risky. Now, a healthy and growing economy presents a ripe field for many individuals who have the itch to switch.

Suzanne Rogers loved her volunteer job, but was disenchanted with her career. In time she was able to accept a job with a firm in the nonprofit field. It is extremely advantageous to one’s self-worth, experience, and contacts to commit to volunteer efforts. Choose something akin to your field of interest. The door to opportunity opens frequently for the person who is in the right-place at the right-time. Volunteer involvement will expand your horizons, and could lead directly to future endeavors.

If you are determined to ‘switch’– but are not sure what the new line of work should be–find a good career counselor, who will minister testing to determine what suits you best. After identifying some new career possibilities, talk to people in those fields to get a realistic sense of what the work is like.

Be aware that unless your new job provides a regular paycheck, you may have to sustain yourself for some time. Also, be realistic! If you leave a job, you well might have to take a pay cut in a new position with a new company.

If you can afford to take a steep pay cut, then you might well leave a cushy job to work on a dude ranch, or try your hand at commission sales. If a new assignment sounds risky, then it probably is.

Take the leap if you feel secure financially and have explored all the avenues. The great majority of us are happy being productive, and having a good job description which utilizes our pent-up work-directed energy.

Making a smooth transition will hinge on doing your homework, seeking out the best possibilities, and understanding your own potential. Then, go for it!

COPYRIGHT 2001 Hispanic Times Enterprises

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group