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10 worst mistakes people make while changing their career

Last updated on: March 12, 2012 19:26 IST

10 worst mistakes people make while changing their career

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Monster.com
While you may be tempted to buy your friend's recommendation, find out what's best for you and let money not be the only incentive for your career choice.

Changing careers is never easy especially owing to the time and effort spent in getting a degree and work experience.

There can be many reasons resulting in the career change including losing interest in one's original career, downsizing of a company amongst others.

Regardless of your career change strategy, never make these 10 mistakes

1. Don't look for a job in another field without some intense introspection

Make sure you're not escaping to a field that fits you just as poorly as your last.

Get thorough information about the fields you're considering by networking with friends, colleagues and class mates, reading and doing sufficient online research.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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2. Don't look for 'hot' fields unless they're a good fit for you

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People try to help and will come along and do the equivalent of whispering 'plastics' in the ear.

Instead of jumping at their suggestions, take time to consider your options.

Decide what you really want to do. If you enter a field just because it's 'hot', burnout isn't far behind




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3. Find out if there's a need to go to school

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Don't go back to school to get retreaded unless you've done some test drives in the new field

You're never too old for an internship, a volunteer experience or trying your hand at a contract assignment in a new field.

There are lots of ways to get experience that won't cost you anything except your time.

However a new degree may or may not make the world sit up and take notice.

Be very sure where you want to go before you put yourself through the pain and debt of another degree programme.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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4. Do not rely on a career counsellor

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Don't go to a career counsellor expecting they can tell you which field to enter

Career advisors are facilitators as they can help you ferret out your long-buried dreams and talents, but you' will have to do the research and the decision making by yourself.




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5. Don't expect to switch overnight

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A thorough career change usually will take a minimum of six months to pull off, and the time frequently stretches to a year or more.

Hence it's important to remain patient.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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6. Don't go into a field because your friend is doing well in it

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Get thorough information about the fields you're considering by networking, reading and doing online research.

Having informational interviews with alumni from your college, colleagues, friends or family is a fun way to get the scoop on different fields.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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7. Don't stick to possibilities you already know about

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Stretch your perception of what might work for you.

Read some job profiles and explore career fields you learn about from self-assessment exercises.




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8. Don't let money be the deciding factor

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There's not enough money in the world to make you happy if your job doesn't suit you.

Workplace dissatisfaction and stress is the number-one health problem for working adults.

This is particularly true for career changers, who often earn less until they get their sea legs in a different field.



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9. Don't keep your dissatisfaction to yourself or try to make the switch alone

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This is the time to talk to people (probably not your boss just yet).

Friends, family and colleagues need to know what's going on so they can help you tap into those 90-plus per cent of jobs that aren't advertised until somebody has them all sewn up.



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10. Be careful when using placement agencies or search firms

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Do some research to be sure to find a good match.

Ask those who work in the field you're trying to get into or other successful career changers for suggestions.

Try to find a firm that knows how to be creative when placing career changers -- not one that solely focuses on moving people up the ladder in the same field.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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