If you feel like it may be time to pursue a new career path, you’re hardly alone.
A report from the spring of 2021 found that one in four Canadians were toying with the idea of changing careers.
At first, pandemic uncertainty caused many people to try to hang on to the jobs they had. But that changed dramatically when vaccination rates increased and the economy began to open up.
Research by RBC revealed that in June 2021, close to 17,000 Canadians left their jobs due to dissatisfaction—almost three times as many as a year earlier.
So should you take the leap?
Before you make any big decisions, ask yourself these important questions.
1. WHY DO YOU WANT A CAREER CHANGE?
What’s driving you to look at other fields? Common reasons that people switch careers include:
☑️ Being bored or disengaged
☑️ Being overwhelmed by stress
☑️ Having poor work-life balance
☑️ Wanting more flexibility (such as the ability to set their own hours or work remotely)
☑️ Wanting more meaningful or fulfilling work
Think about your overall objective in changing careers. What are you hoping to get out of it? What would success look like to you?
Keep in mind that every job has its ups and downs. While switching fields may get you away from what’s bothering you right now, you will almost certainly encounter new challenges.
You need to figure out what really needs to change and what trade-offs you’re willing to make.
2. CAN YOU AFFORD TO MAKE A SWITCH?
Starting over in a new career can impact your financial situation. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to step from one field to another without taking at least a temporary hit to your income.
☑️ Can you handle a pay cut or a loss of benefits (i.e. extended health insurance)?
☑️ Do you have savings you can draw on until you get back on your feet?
☑️ Do you have a partner or other family member who can help out financially if needed?
☑️ If you need to retrain, can you continue to work part time while doing so?
You may be looking to move into a career that pays more than what you’re making now, in which case any drop in income may be short-lived.
But the career you want might come with a lower salary, and that’s fine—provided you’re prepared.
You just need to decide if the reward outweighs the risks.
3. WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER DO?
When you’re contemplating a career change, you shouldn’t just be running away from something. It’s important to know where you’d like to end up.
Need some inspiration?
Below are a few occupations that have a large number of projected openings across Canada over the next few years, pay at least $20 an hour, and allow you to get started quickly (with no more than two years of training).
Job openings are based on data from the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS). Wage data is from the Government of Canada Job Bank.
☑️ Transport truck drivers
- Average annual job openings between 2022 and 2028: 12,100
- Median hourly wage: $23
- Typical training requirements: Commercial driver’s licence
☑️ Office administrators
- Average annual job openings between 2022 and 2028: 9,014
- Median hourly wage: $26.44
- Typical training requirements: College diploma in business administration
☑️ Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
- Average annual job openings between 2022 and 2028: 8,700
- Median hourly wage: $24.04
- Typical training requirements: College diploma in accounting
☑️ Early childhood educators and assistants
- Average annual job openings between 2022 and 2028: 8,314
- Median hourly wage: $20
- Typical training requirements: College diploma in early childhood education, plus provincial or territorial licensing
☑️ Social and community service workers
- Average annual job openings between 2022 and 2028: 6,914
- Median hourly wage: $23
- Typical training requirements: College-level training as a CSW, or a diploma in human or social services
4. WHAT TRANSFERABLE SKILLS DO YOU HAVE?
Even if you’re moving into an entirely new field, you probably have skills and expertise that employers will find valuable.
So take stock of your current skill set. For instance, maybe you’re good at:
☑️ Thinking critically
☑️ Communicating effectively
☑️ Solving problems
☑️ Learning new technology
☑️ Conducting research
☑️ Running meetings☑️ Resolving conflicts
Now here’s the key step: you need to make connections between your skills and the new career you seek. How would your abilities apply to the new position?
The point is to figure out what you bring to the table—and what you might be lacking (more on that next).
5. ARE YOU WILLING TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL?
You may find that you have some gaps in your skill set that you need to fill before making your career change.
The idea of going back to school can be intimidating. However, many colleges and trade schools cater to busy adults like you, with career-focused programs and flexible scheduling.
For instance, you may be able to take classes online or on evenings or weekends. That might allow you to continue working while you train for your new career.
Many career college programs also include internships, so you can make industry contacts and get real-world experience in your new field.
Of course, going back to school does require time and money. If it can help you get where you want to go, it may well be worth it. But it’s something to think about.
INTERESTED IN TRAINING FOR A NEW CAREER?
If you’re looking for fast, high-quality training to help you pivot into a new field, a career college can be an excellent option.
Herzing College offers a variety of accelerated programs in business, design, education, healthcare, legal studies, media, and technology.
Most include internships so you can graduate with applicable experience. Plus, our flexible learning options allow you to schedule your training in a way that’s convenient for you.
Want more details? Click below to explore our programs and chat live with an admissions advisor.