Be sure you do your research before launching into a changing career

researchBy Michael Spiropoulos

O.K., you’re tired of your current job and are seriously thinking of changing career. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. Whatsmore you’re not alone. More and more people are successfully changing careers and are invigorated by the change.

However, you need to be careful. You do not want to spend your time looking for a job that does not really suit you. Even worse you do not want to expend a whole lot of time and energy into winning a new job only to realise it’s not what you had expected

To avoid any nasty surprises it is important that you do your research before commencing your change of career campaign. Leave no stone unturned. The more meticulous you are with your research the better your decision will be. Here are five things that you should definitely research carefully:

1. Yourself. Carefully consider what you’re really like. Take a close look at your skills, knowledge, work preferences and life style choices. You really need to be clear about what you genuinely like and do not like before deciding on a new career. Check out Monster’s career quizzes to get a start on researching yourself.

2. The major requirements of the job. Do not take other people’s word for what a job is like and do not be seduced by the glamour of certain industries. Glamour is an outsider’s perspective. If you take the time to talk to insiders you’ll soon find out it’s all about hard work.

When researching a job be sure you look at all aspects including:

• Skills/knowledge and personal attributes required to do the job properly
• Hours
• Opportunities for advancement
• Pressures/stress

3. The Industry. It’s important to understand the industry you’re thinking of getting into.

Be sure you get answers to the following questions:

• What are the salary levels like? Some industries are notorious for paying their people poorly. Be sure you know what your industry is paying before you start looking.
• Turnover rates. Is it an industry in which people are leaving regularly? If so, why? Industries that lose a lot of staff are generally not doing the right thing by their people.
• Is it an industry with a future? Or, is there are a high likelihood of redundancy?
• How many employers in the industry? Are there lots of employers or are there only several big players? Generally, it’s in your interests to lean towards industries where there are lots of employers.

4. The Labour Market. One very important consideration is the current and foreseeable state of the labour market. You need to examine the supply and demand realities of the job. If there’s an oversupply of candidates you will a) find it more difficult to secure a position and b) tough to negotiate a good salary. Of course, the opposite will be the case if demand outstrips supply.

5. Entry Requirements. Have a close look at what you need to do to get into the industry. Some industries require formal qualifications, whilst others demand a minimum amount of experience. Consider the time and cost for you to get up to speed and ask yourself the all important question, “Is it worth it?”

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