3 Mistakes to Avoid When Changing Careers

November 8, 2016

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Changing Careers

If you’re considering a career change, you might be itching to leave your current job and break out into your new venture without looking back.

Not so fast. Regardless of why you’re leaving your present career and where you’re going, it’s important that you make the transition smoothly and without regrets.

These are three mistakes to avoid when changing careers.

1. Not Preparing For the Financial Impact

Will your salary drop when you switch careers? If so, be realistic about the financial impact of your career move. If the drop will be significant, “practice” living off of the lower income for several months before making the actual switch

If you have any significant financial goals on the horizon, you might want to consider attempting to achieve them before making the career change—while you are still bringing in your larger salary.

On the other hand, if your career change results in an increase in salary, be sure you have a plan for that as well. The bump in your salary can quickly be absorbed by “lifestyle inflation” unless you plan otherwise.

2. Not Maintaining Relationships

If your boss and co-workers made your work-life miserable, you probably have zero plans to keep in touch or “do lunch sometime”—and understandably so.

However, forsaking all your relationships made in your current career would be a mistake, as you have no idea what the future holds and whether or not that future will involve needing to connect with a former co-worker or business associate.

Don’t completely walk away from relationships formed during your current career. Maintain contact on some level and leave the door open so that reaching out in the future—if necessary—won’t seem out-of-the-blue.

3. Putting Your Career Behind You

It’s tempting to want to walk away from your current career and put that whole thing behind you, however, our careers and the experiences that came with it undoubtedly play a significant role in our lives.

Recognize and celebrate what you’ve experienced and accomplished in your career even after you leave it. And be sure to identify the knowledge and transferable skills that you’ve acquired and will be able to utilize in your new career or business.

Related Reading: 5 Must-Reads if You’re Changing Careers

The decision to switch careers is not one to be taken lightly. If you are considering changing careers, I am sure you are putting much thought into your decision and weighing the pros and cons of making the move. Be sure that “transitioning well” is a part of your plan.

A wise friend of mine said, “How you finish what you are currently doing is how you will start the next thing you do.”—so finish well.

Have you ever made a career change? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?


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