Search
Advice » Career Development» Changing Careers » The 10 Worst Mistakes Career ...
The 10 Worst Mistakes Career Changers Can Make

The 10 Worst Mistakes Career Changers Can Make

Changing careers is never easy. Half the world thinks you've lost your mind, headhunters say you'll never work again and your relatives contribute the old "I told you so" routine. But for many burned-out, bored or multitalented folks who are sitting on skills they're not getting a chance to use, changing fields is the only way to keep from losing their marbles. 

Regardless of your career-change strategy, never make these 10 mistakes:

1. Don't Look for a Job in Another Field Without Some Intense Introspection

Nothing is worse than leaping before you look. Make sure you're not escaping to a field that fits you just as poorly as your last. Be sure you do a thorough self-assessment first.

2. Don't Look for Hot Fields Unless They're a Good Fit for You

You wouldn't try to squeeze into your skinny cousin's suit, so why try a field because it works for him? People who are trying to help you will come along and do the equivalent of whispering "plastics" in your ear. Instead of jumping at their suggestions, take time to consider your options. Decide what you really want to do. When you enter a field just because it's hot, burnout isn't far behind.

3. Don't Go into a Field Because Your Friend Is Doing Well in It

Get thorough information about the fields you're considering by networking, reading and doing online research. Having informational interviews with alumni from your college, colleagues, friends or family is a fun way to get the scoop on different fields.

4. Don't Stick to Possibilities You Already Know About

Stretch your perception of what might work for you. Read job profiles, and explore career fields you learn about from self-assessment exercises.

5. Don't Let Money Be the Deciding Factor

There's not enough money in the world to make you happy if your job doesn't suit you. Workplace dissatisfaction and stress is the No. 1 health problem for working adults. This is particularly true for career changers, who often earn less until they get their sea legs in a different field.

6. Don't Keep Your Dissatisfaction to Yourself or Try to Make the Switch Alone

This is the time to talk to people (probably not your boss just yet). Friends, family and colleagues need to know what's going on so they can help you tap into that large percentage of jobs that aren't advertised.

7. Don't Go Back to School Unless You've Done Some Test-Drives in the New Field

You're never too old for an internship, a volunteer experience or trying your hand at a contract assignment in a new field. There are lots of ways to get experience that won't cost you anything except your time. A new degree may or may not make the world sit up and take notice. Be very sure where you want to go before you put yourself through the pain and debt of another degree program.

8. Be Careful When Using Placement Agencies or Search Firms

Do some research to be sure to find a good match. Ask those who work in the field you're trying to get into or other successful career changers for suggestions. Try to find a firm that knows how to be creative when placing career changers -- not one that solely focuses on moving people up the ladder in the same field.

9. Don't Expect a Career Counselor to Tell You Which Field to Enter

Career counselors are facilitators, and they'll follow your lead. They can help ferret out your long-buried dreams and talents, but you'll have to do the research and the decision making by yourself. Anyone who promises to tell you what to do is dangerous.

10. Don't Expect to Switch Overnight

A thorough career change usually will take a minimum of six months to pull off, and the time frequently stretches to a year or more.

Changing fields is one of the most invigorating things you can do. It's like experiencing youth all over again, except with the wisdom of whatever age you are now.

Latest Jobs

Ardent Hospice
Posted: 09/16/2014
Flower Mound, TX, 75028
ContractStaffingRecruiters.com
Posted: 09/16/2014
New York, NY, 10004
EQM Incorporated
Posted: 09/16/2014
New York, NY, 10007
Driver Placement
Posted: 09/16/2014
Johnson Creek, WI, 53038
ContractStaffingRecruiters.com
Posted: 09/16/2014
New York, NY, 10004

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.50.56-313
eTrustLogo