If you’re thinking that it’s time to look at changing careers, you’re not alone.
This year has made many people explore the opportunity of new career options, particularly in sectors that have proven to offer greater job security and promise during tough times. After all, unemployment rates have reached record highs throughout this year’s pandemic and job security is uncertain in a variety of industries.
With new circumstances resulting from job loss or a changed situation, this year has also allowed many people to take the time and space to reflect on what they really want to pursue as a career. Some have even found that more time at home has created the ideal foundation to gain qualifications with a view to thriving in a new career.
Reasons you might change careers
Getting some insight into why changing careers is on your to-do list is important. It enables you to gain a deeper understanding of what you are looking for that is currently lacking in your professional life, which will help you choose wisely if you do decide to head in a fresh direction.
There are many reasons to change careers, and these listed below are just a few of the key ones that might be driving your desire to switch to a new path. Maybe you’re a hospitality worker who has lost their job due to the pandemic, or your workplace is looking like it may not reopen. No reason is more valid than another, but it is good to understand your own motivations before you go any further.
Feeling unsatisfied in your job
This is frequently cited as a top reason why people leave their jobs. Job satisfaction can comprise a number of reasons, but ultimately finding a career that makes you feel fulfilled is very important.
Looking for a work environment that suits you
Work environments can have a notable impact on how much you enjoy your job. From company culture to your physical workspace, being in a space that you do not feel aligned with is likely to make you want to move on. For example, if you’re someone who can’t stand to be sitting at a desk all day but your job requires you to do just that, it’s probably a good reason to consider changing careers.
Lack of opportunities to grow
Regular training opportunities, professional development, progressing in your career – these opportunities are motivating and keep you passionate about what you do. If you find that your career is devoid of any room to grow, moving on could be worthwhile.
Is changing careers the right move?
So how do you know that changing careers is the right choice for your situation? There are a few things to consider before taking the plunge to make sure that you make the perfect decision for your individual circumstances and goals.
Before you quit your job and enrol in a course, take the time to ask yourself these four questions to decide once and for all whether changing careers the right choice for you.
1. What are your priorities?
Knowing what is most important to you from a career perspective is incredibly valuable information. It can guide you to choose a career that best suits your wants and needs, and help you when it comes to choosing between job offers. Priorities can include salary, flexibility, location, training opportunities, company culture, particular hours, set shifts or rotating rosters and more.
2. What are you looking for?
Changing careers shouldn’t be a wild goose chase. Know what you want to do with your time — support others, care for children, help people, sit at a desk, be up and about. There is no right or wrong answer, but to ensure your next career is fulfilling, you need to know what your goals are so you can achieve them.
3. Can your current career improve?
Revisit the previous section of this article and establish your reason for leaving. Don’t make a rash decision — changing careers shouldn’t be rushed. Once you have established your reason/s for wanting to pursue a new career path, ask yourself whether your current career could change enough to change your mind. For example, if you find you don’t have any opportunity for upskilling or further training, could a meeting with your employer make a difference? If your current career can’t give you what you are looking for, then a new career could be just what you need.
4. Will a career change enhance your life?
Big life choices should be made with the overall goal of improving your life. Of course, this may not be immediate but when you’re exploring your career options, make sure that ultimately your choice to switch careers will make your life more enjoyable or fulfilled.
Changing careers, exploring options
Once you are confident that you are changing careers for the right reasons, it’s time to work out what career is the best option for you. While you might have your heart set on a particular occupation, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right direction for you to take.
Things aren’t always as they seem, so before you dive head first into a brand-new profession, it’s worth taking the time to explore a few details about the sector and roles that you are interested in. Investigate your prospective career to find out whether it’s going to meet your expectations.
Find out the job prospects
If you want to change careers, you need to know that there are job opportunities to be found in the industry, so check for demand and growth. For example, early childhood education is a booming sector that needs trained and passionate professionals to join the workforce.
Explore salary expectations
Knowing how much money you need to or would like to earn in the short and long term can help to focus your career change search. Look at whether an industry has an award under which it typically pays its workforce, or if the average casual or full-time rates are aligned with your salary needs.
Consider what the job involves
Try to understand what a day in the life of someone working in your desired industry would consist of. Are roles typically casual, part time or full time? Do hours tend to be set or on rotating rosters? What are the daily tasks and responsibilities? Where are the jobs located? Is there room to progress in this career?
You can gain these insights online, speak with industry experts and talk to people in the industry. No one knows the industry better than the people who work within it each and every day. The early childhood education trainers at Practical Outcomes have years of hands-on experience in the workplace, making them valuable sources for insights are into a career in the sector.
Changing careers: getting started
Confident that a career change is what you need? Time to get started! Once you’ve chosen the profession you would like to move ahead in, you will need to find out what qualifications you require to start working in the industry.
The qualifications to get started might be a Certificate or Diploma, or even a university degree. Some early childhood learners may begin their studies with a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113), with a plan to utilise our university pathway to a Bachelor of Education with Swinburne online. Think ahead to your dream job not just now but in years to come, and you can make a great plan to get yourself there.
Pursuing a career in early childhood education
The early childhood education and care sector is an excellent option for anyone looking for a rewarding career. With your individual career priorities in mind, a change to this sector can tick a number of boxes:
- An in-demand growth sector that is considered essential, meaning plenty of job opportunities
- Workplace diversity, with variety in each day
- A rewarding career that makes a measurable difference in children’s lives
- The opportunity to get qualified online and gain experience through practical placement as part of your course
- High-quality training available with thorough and ongoing support from trainers
Employment prospects are strong in the early childhood education sector, offering a career with plenty of promise. Last year’s Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed a huge 70% increase in couple families with employed mothers who have children aged under 15 years old, plus government spending continues to make child care more accessible to more families, further increasing uptake. Planning a career in this booming sector is a wise career move if you have what it takes to be a high-quality carer and educator of children.
While coronavirus has prompted some to explore a new career in early childhood, the majority of the enquiries we have received of late are from people who are simply interesting in changing careers and find the care sector appealing. They’re currently working full time or part time but typically want more from their career. It’s important that those who seek out a career nurturing young children’s development are looking to make a genuine difference in the lives of others — this role can have a notable influence on a child’s wellbeing and education, now and well into the future.
Think you might be ready to explore a career in early childhood education? This checklist helps you find out!
To discuss your early childhood education career options, chat to the experts at Practical Outcomes today!