You get up every morning and drag yourself through your daily routine. It’s all you can do to make it to work on time and slog through the day’s duties. You aren’t alone in your dissatisfaction, as Gallup reports that 20 million Americans are entirely disinterested and unhappy with their jobs. Some of this unhappiness is directly related to frustrations associated with a boss or supervisor, says Kelly Services. But it doesn’t matter how happy you are with your boss when the job itself is slowly burning you out day by day. A career change may make you happier, but you have several important considerations to keep in mind, such as what field to pursue, whether you need additional education for that career and what your long term prospects look like.
Love or Money?
Your first consideration is whether you want to pursue a career for love, or a career for money. In a perfect world, your career change would take you on a path to a job that provides you with both. If your passions lay in the creative fields, such as art or music, you look at difficult times trying to break into the industry, accompanied by a laughable monetary reward. Have a backup plan to support yourself if you aren’t able to establish yourself in a career you’re passionate about.
The career path for the money gives you the obvious benefit of financial security. However, you don’t want to go through all the trouble of a career change and end up burnt out again down the road. If you’re choosing a career for the money, pursue one that gives you the time and money to keep up with your passion on the side, so you get the best of both worlds.
Going Back to School
Many career changes require additional education. You may get lucky and want to pursue a career change that only requires a certification to get started, but some enticing careers require years of higher education. Consider how you’re going to fund your education, and whether you’re in for six months or six years. Look into tuition reimbursements through your current job to remove some of the financial strain. Loans and grants are other options to fund your schooling.
Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to pay for school, you need to figure out when you’re going to school. When you have a full-time job that’s draining your energy, everything seems harder. Add in your family obligations and social endeavors, and it’s nearly impossible to balance everything. Consider going through an online degree or certification program to take the strain off of your schedule, and work at the pace you’re most comfortable with.
Consider your long-term prospects in a career before you make the leap. Brazen Careerist recommends looking through all available information for job growth projections and income. This can help you choose your school and program. For example, Penn Foster offers a certification program in medical billing and coding—an industry expected to grow by 22 percent over the next few years. Find out whether there are jobs available for you, what the entry level pay is like and how much work you need to put in to get back to where you are in your current career as far as pay and responsibilities.
Article contributed by Jenna Fuller: Originally from New York, Jenna Fuller left a career in advertising to study sustainability. She is married and has a son.