Ladies, Consider These 7 Things Before Making a Career Change

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For some women, being able to work from home during the pandemic period was welcomed as a refreshing change in terms of pace as well as space - despite the unforeseen circumstances. However, for some other women, having to work for their jobs virtually from home only illuminated how unsatisfied they were. The quarantine period was thus able to help women realise that they could be making a lot more money, or that they might be happier in different fields. There are also some women who just did not have the required support to let them perform efficiently in their jobs. The ultimate outcome of this scenario became that a lot of women ended up changing their minds about their careers.

A survey conducted by a behavioural science and analytics company reveals that women are almost two times more likely than men to reconsider their current jobs and may even leave them next year. Both these reasons can be chalked up to a disconnectedness in their social surroundings and also an immense lack of holistic support, which led to a massive decrease in the levels of productivity. Another round of analyses proved that women, especially those who are parents, are being made to quit or change their jobs because of inadequate child support, with schools shutting down. 

Some job-goers were genuinely thrilled at the prospect of being able to work from home. But when the pandemic actually brought their dreams to reality, and when they were being made to face the consequences, remote working turned into more of a nightmare. The blurring of lines between work and family life has uprooted both spheres, and in addition to that, the stoppage of in-person interactions has deeply lowered morales. 

What Makes People Change Careers?

There can be many different reasons for people to change careers. Quite obviously, it becomes a personal decision dictated by many intersecting factors. A survey that measured the top five reasons people change careers reports them to be:

  1. Better Pay - 46%
  2. Very Stressful - 40%
  3. Work-Life Balance - 36%
  4. Wanted To Try Something New - 25%
  5. No Longer Interested In Current Field - 23%

With the large variety of job options available in the market today, it is an entirely exciting prospect to start something afresh, after having worked the same 9-5 for years. The possibilities become virtually limitless - you could have been working a corporate job, and you may be considering dropping that to become a full-time university professor. Many of us dream of a future in which we see ourselves as happier and more satisfied, and the job we work has a major role to play in that. 

But quite obviously, all this is much easier said than done. 

We all need to consider commitments made to our family, paying off loans, and possibly even come face to face with the idea of doing away with the steady income that we have been receiving, when it comes to changing careers. Undoubtedly, the more invested we are in our professional lives, the harder it is to make such a radical choice. 

Two women speak about successful career transitions. Read on to understand the possibilities and challenges that you may be faced with after making the decision to change your field!

Hiranmayi Ghate, who started her career as a clinical psychologist had decided her chosen field as a teenager. However, things went down a different path when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, which forced her to drop her master’s degree. She was pursuing the same in forensic psychology in the United States, and her insurance was not enough to cover her medical condition. When she came back to India, her doctor’s advice to her was to pick a career that was a lot less fast-paced and dealt with lesser amounts of stress - due to the fact that it directly impacted her condition. Although she found it difficult at first, Hiranmayi, at 29, went on to pursue her other field of interest, which was fashion designing. Now 35, she is a successful business owner and has her own studio. 

Jankli Lalwala, after getting married, moved to London and discovered her passion for and talent in makeup artistry. She worked as a makeup artist on a freelance basis for almost six years, and then moved back to her hometown with her child. The problem she faced was that neither did she have any contacts, nor any other way to sustain her career. Then she saw the light at the end of the tunnel - her enthusiasm about healthy food gave her to opportunity to introduce it to her city. At the age of 28, in the year 2018, she embarked upon a daunting yet extremely rewarding journey of opening up her own health food cafe. As of this year, she is a proud owner of three different outlets in the city, with her makeup career thriving alongside. 

If you are somebody who is considering a change in career after having worked in one particular field over a long period of time, read on to find out some insights from our conversations with Jankli and Hiranmayi.

Only You Know If It Is Okay To Change Your Career

Both women, Hiranmayi and Janki were able to solidify their decisions regarding career transitions owing to the circumstances that they faced. While on one hand Hiranmayi dealt with difficulties on the health front, Janki struggled with approaching people due to her lack of contacts. Before you set your mind on quitting, ensure that you plainly lay out all your reasons in front of you. 

You may be unhappy with the kind of work you are presently doing, or you may be unsatisfied with the pay that you are currently receiving. Alternately, you may find your work in a particular field becoming increasingly redundant, or that you find yourself being drawn to another line of work.

Regardless, the first step towards your decision making process should involve a thorough analysis of your attitude towards your work - is it short-term, or long-term? If you find yourself being unhappy with your field of work, it always helps to chalk down a pros versus cons list, and then coming up with viable solutions to the cons. If you feel like you’re stuck, then maybe you should consider changing careers. However, if you also can’t see anything wrong with your current job, but instead want to switch over to a field that interests you more, go ahead! But make sure to have a solid plan before you do so. 

Mapping out my skills before making the leap

Once you become entirely sure about switching careers, take a moment to consider all the skills that you can bring to the table. This is an integral step which will help all your career choices fall into line. Additionally, give some thought to the correlation of the skills you possess to the skills required by the particular industry that you have an inclination towards.

As we know, Hiranmayi’s long term passion for designing was able to flourish due to the fact that it was one of her favourite hobbies. This made it a lot simpler for her to decide exactly what she wanted to pursue. 

Keeping this in mind, think about the hobbies that you are passionate about, and figure out whether you can monetise it. This becomes a great starting point. 

It is never too late to upskill

You may be wondering - what is the need to upskill? Think about it like this. The possibility of you already possessing all the skills required by your chosen field is unlikely, so it becomes a good idea to at least sharpen the skills you already possess. For instance, Hiranmayi made sure to learn how to sew her own clothes and even became good at it, in addition to already being passionate about design. She went ahead and got a diploma from a reputed fashion institute, in order for her to have all the knowledge required to eventually become a designer. The best part is that there are several different online courses that are available at our fingertips online today, and it is worth considering taking those up which will definitely help you advance in your field. 

Plan, plan, plan!

As you may already know, switching career paths is no easy feat, and we have Hiranmayi and Janki to corroborate this fact. When you decide that you are sure of the skills, talent, information, and in some cases, money, that you possess to help you transition into the field of your choice, make a plan for the future. If you have a family to support, make sure to think about their needs. For example, if you start out with a business venture, do you already have some savings to keep your family afloat for a couple of months? By when do you think you will start collecting some substantial revenue? And lastly, when will you reach a point where you are making as much as (if not more) money as you did in your previous job? Answer all these questions and focus on a concrete goal - this will give you the boost of confidence you need in order to move ahead with the decision that you have decided to make. 

There is no easy way out - patience is key

When Hiranmayi was first approached with having to choose a different career path, she dedicated a few months to sort out what was going on in her life. She understood that the support and presence of her family became paramount towards her decision making process. Janki on the other hand struggled with having to raise her child on her own and even dealt with some level of sexism at the workplace. There were certain situations in which her employees refused to take her seriously, and it took a lot of perseverance to retain her composure and be taken seriously as the one in charge. Which is why we reiterate; patience is the most important tool to wield when it comes to the path of becoming successful. 

Due to the devastatingly unfortunate impact of the pandemic on the global economy, there are people all over the world struggling to keep their jobs, peering at a what seems to be a foggy future. If you are at all planning to switch careers at this point in time, keep in mind to be prepared for anything that life may throw at you. Our headstrong women Hiranmayi and Janki strongly suggest equipping yourself with a support system during such tough times. Remember this - the process of transitioning between careers is often a slow and painful one, but the best way to do it is being filled with optimistic enthusiasm.

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