Why should you change careers at all?
Changing careers makes sense when your current role no longer suits your goals. You also experience these benefits:
The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank reported that people who frequently switch jobs have a faster wage growth rate than those who don’t. That’s because If you stay at the same company, your basic salary will likely only increase by 3 to 5% annually.
You’re in a stronger position to negotiate your pay when you join a new company and industry. The new company will be more willing to pay you higher because of your experience.
Changing careers naturally leads you to have diverse skills. A broad skill set is highly valued in today’s economy. Let’s say you’re an IT administrator who becomes a web developer.
Having IT administrator experience means your employer won’t have to micromanage you. You’ll already know how to navigate a digital ecosystem.
To be an even better web developer, you could also check out this course.
Your network is your net worth.
And what better way to expand your network than by connecting with people in different industries? Changing careers to a new industry will grant you access to a whole new suite of professional networks.
You’ll be able to use these new connections to expand your career.
Faster career growth
Not all careers progress equally. Some stagnate—others plateau. You may even feel that you’re not sufficiently advancing in your career. Maybe you’re not suited to your current industry. Maybe the industry itself is stagnating. In either case, you’ll probably benefit from changing careers.
The advantages of staying in the same industry
Let's say you've decided to change your career. Naturally, the next question is whether to change your career in the same or a different field. These are the benefits of remaining in the same one.
Smaller skill gap
Different fields demand different skills.
Being a software engineer is different from being a salesperson, which is different from being a financial advisor. Sometimes the skill gap between industries is too vast to justify the leap. That skill gap could be in technical skills or soft ones.
The skill gap in different careers within the same industry is naturally smaller. It's easier to go from being an accountant to a financial advisor than from a software engineer to a doctor.
An accountant doesn't need too many skills to become a financial advisor. But a software engineer who wants to be a doctor will have to go to med school.
If you need new qualifications to find a new role, you could try courses at Unmudl.
Related to the last point: it's just easier to stay in the same industry.
Not only do you already have most of the skills you need, but you also have experience and contacts. Experience and contacts that probably aren't useful in a new industry.
Say you're a mechanical engineer who wants to become a digital marketer. Your engineering experience won't be that useful for marketing. You'll have to start from scratch.
Worse still, your progress in engineering would mean little in marketing because of how different the two fields are. Assuming you make the transition, you'll have to learn everything about
Of course, the ease of switching among industries varies depending on what you're already doing and what you want to do. It's easier to switch between related industries, like architecture and engineering, than different ones, like medicine and marketing.
Suggested reading: the complete guide to a career change
Less financial uncertainty
Changing jobs costs both time and money. Depending on how experienced you are and whether you have dependents, it may be financially unsound to change careers. It's especially financially unwise if switching to a new field requires you to obtain new knowledge, skills, and/or qualifications.
You could probably afford the switch if you're young and without dependents. But if you're older and have children, you might place your family in a difficult position. The closer your current and desired fields are, the easier the transition will be.
But if they're drastically different–like engineering and accounting– you won't immediately earn as much as you did before. It might even be several years before your income in the new field equals what you received before. Depending on your priorities, that may not be the worst thing.
Your current career could help with the new one.
Diverse skills and experiences are generally valuable. But they're especially valuable within the same industry. Say you're a mechanical engineer who works in industrial manufacturing. You're familiar with the manufacturing process. You know how it works. What it looks like. And what its problems are.
And let's say you decide to become a CAD (computer-aided design) engineer. The new job involves designing the machines that perform the manufacturing process. Your previous experience as a mechanical engineer will be a huge asset for this transition.
You already know how the plant works. You have a more accurate perspective of the production process and its limitations. So you'll likely design more practical machines.
Your employer will know this too. And they'll consider you a better CAD engineer because of your mechanical engineering experience. The same is true for many other career transitions.