Changing Careers? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes

The average person can expect to change careers (not just jobs) 3 to 5 times in their working life. Avoid the 5 classic mistakes most career and job changers make.

Most of the experts say that the average person can expect to change careers (not just jobs) 3 to 5 times in their working life. The reasons? Many people are burnt-out, underpaid, stressed out, bored, unsatisfied, or at a career dead end. For some, their careers have changed on them –thanks to corporate mergers, changes in technology, company restructuring, age discrimination, and a thousand other reasons. After counseling thousands of people in finding new careers and jobs, we have found that there are 5 classic mistakes most career and job changers make:


Not having a clear goal is like trying to run a race when you do not know where the finish line is. Many career changers have only a partial goal. They KNOW that they want a job with less stress, or more money, or more of a future, or more independence, or more satisfaction. A career goal, however, should be comprehensive, specific, clear, and realistic. It should include not only the practicalities of your situation, but also who you are, the realities of the job market, and the potential pitfalls.


Most career changers (and job seekers) spend more time worrying about their weaknesses than their strengths. Most people don’t even know what their strengths are. But it is your strengths–not your weaknesses–that determine your career success. Get a professional assessment. This should also include your personal characteristics, motivation, aptitudes, goals, values, interests, and talents. A career and job decision is too important not to have this picture.


Sure, most people think about it for a long time, but thinking is not the same thing as detailed planning. Most people plan a night out with friends more carefully than they plan their careers. Planning would mean researching the new career, talking to people who are in the new career, getting some hands-on experience, reading (books, trade journals, industry newsletters), developing strategies for any possible negatives or problems, consulting with a mentor, knowing what education or training you would need, and other actions.


As a psychologist who has worked with underachievers of all ages, I can tell you that many have good intentions but fail to take action. This is, of course, a normal human trait. There are times when all of us procrastinate, give ourselves excuses, and do not do the things that will lead us to our goals. If you are changing careers, however, you had better be motivated. Only consistent, daily, well-considered action will get you where you want to go.


If you are changing careers, you need something more than the usual job search tactics. You need a strategy that fits who you are as a unique individual and the fact that you are changing careers. For example, if you tell a job interviewer (or anyone else) that you are “changing careers,” it is the kiss of death. You see, if you are changing careers, then you are starting over–from square one–and are competing with kids just out of school. Instead, you should say, “I am taking the next step in my career” (which, actually, is closer to the truth for most career changers). Another example: Make sure your résumé is rewritten so that it doesn’t “lock you in” to the old career. Go light on the jargon. Emphasize skills in the old career that would be a real advantage (not just “transferable skills”) in the new career. If you avoid these classic mistakes, you are well on your way to making a successful job and career change.

Career Change: To Be Or Not To Be!

Career change is the most joyous process if made in a well-organized and thoughtful manner. Read the article to know more about the proper way for a reasonable career change.

Career change is dreaded by everyone, as there is a general perception that a career change can hardly succeed. Around 52% professionals do not like their current occupation, but get stuck to the same job due to the fear of change.

First of all, think whether your decision of career change is genuine or not. Changing careers for useless reasons is not only a wrong decision but also, harmful for your profile. Generally, people do not accept changes, so they think of changing careers, but it is obvious in every field.

Job satisfaction is the most important thing which makes you stick your profession.

If the current career does not make you happy, and even if it remains the same after your serious efforts to make it interesting, then you need a career change.

Change in lifestyle:

Some professions have specific requisites. If you are unable to follow them because of your lifestyle then you must turn towards the best suited one. Some professions are very brief. Modeling, players, and reporters are few of them. So, you need to be prepared for a successful career change, at the right time.

Money matters:

Money is not very convincing reason to change your field, but it is the most realistic one. If your current profession cannot meet your financial needs, then you better to search for other co-related career options.


Your interests& hobbies can help to earn name and fame as well as money. If you have such an interest, then it’s an apt reason to quit your present occupation and pursue your passion.


Migration can be a very serious reason for a career change. Some professions have local validity. If you go beyond that particular area, then they prove to be unfruitful. For example, career in local languages, or careers in consultation etc.

Additional responsibilities on a personal level:

Addition to your personal responsibilities can demand a career change. It is better to choose a proper career accordingly. Disturbances at personal level can be obstacles in professional growth. Generally, marriage is one of the reasons.

Personal disability:

Physical limitations, mental stress or personal restrictions are also logical causes for a career change.

After you decide for a career change, find out other options available for you. Co-related fields are better options than totally strange fields. Find out your skills and qualities which are helpful to pursue careers in different fields.

Make suitable changes in your resume before you apply for a job in a new field. Get resume writing tips from career consultant to make your C.V impressive. Do not lie about your work history or previous field. This will not only harm your reputation but also will make you lose your self respect.

Consult a career consultant, to find a suitable job according to your expectations. Initially, you will not get the best job according to your qualifications, since you are considered a fresher; you need to prove yourself to get to a respectable destination.

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