Eight steps to a successful career change
If you are unhappy or unsatisfied in your current career, you might want to consider switching to a new or second career. This is especially true if you have been in the same field for a long time and have no prospects for advancement.
It can also be a good idea if you don’t feel like you are making an impact or enjoying the rewards from your work. When deciding on a new career, matching it to your skills, interests, and values is important.
It is often helpful to list career paths that you may be interested in or are within your qualifications. You can then research the roles and job opportunities in each field.
Switching to a career in nursing is particularly appealing to many people due to the personal satisfaction it can bring and the job security of the profession. However, before committing to this field, you should research the educational requirements, salary, and job market of the specialty that you want to pursue.
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How to tell if it is time to switch careers
- Your body is telling you enough is enough
Your body is telling you enough is enough when key signs appear like feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, having difficulty focusing, and feeling dissatisfied with your current job. If you experience these signs, it may be the time to switch careers.
For instance, if you are considering switching to nursing, ask yourself whether you’re up for the job’s physical demands. Similarly, ask yourself whether you have the mental capacity of a nurse practitioner because you’ll need to think critically and have a passion for patient care.
Finally, ask yourself if you can handle the emotional intensity of working in a nursing role. Ensure you can take the long hours and flexibility of a nursing career, such as being available during nights and weekends.
- You dream of a different career
If you dream of a different career, such as nursing, consider switching your job. One way of discerning if the timing is right for such a change is to consider your interests and values.
If the current duties within your current job are not aligned with your interests and values, then switch to following your passions. Additionally, evaluate if your current job offers growth opportunities, such as new skills or the potential for career advancement.
It may also be helpful to look into success metrics in your current job. Can you effectively meet the job requirements, and are you achieving the goals of your position? If the answer to either is “no,” then it may be time to consider switching to nursing.
You should research nursing programs and job opportunities to determine whether the field fits you. If so, reach out to anyone in the profession to learn more.
- You’re lacking energy, and you’re eternally bored
Switching careers to nursing can be a very rewarding experience when you need more energy and power with your current job. Nursing can bring satisfaction, energy, and enthusiasm due to its potential to offer meaningful experiences, flexible hours, and various paths for career advancement.
The healthcare industry constantly evolves, and many rewarding specialty nursing opportunities are available. Nursing has much to offer, such as workplace diversity, professional development, competitive salaries, and specialized career tracks for further advancement. There are even roles that require remote work, such as in-home health care providers. Entering a role such as this, you can become trained to utilise tools such as Shiftcare software, which is a great step in the professional development route. This improves not only the patient experience, but also expands your skillset, and enhances productivity and efficiency which is a positive for your CV.
Additionally, nurses often provide invaluable support to patients, families, and other healthcare workers daily, which usually produces a sense of meaningfulness and job satisfaction. If you feel drained and bored with your current profession, switching to nursing provides a fresh start and a wealth of potential advantages.
- You’ve become disconnected from your passions
If you feel like you’ve become disconnected from your passions and want to switch your career to nursing, the best way to tell is to take a step back and reflect. Assess your recent job history, what you’re currently doing, and how you feel.
It could indicate a need to switch to a new career if you feel apathetic or are no longer satisfied in your current environment.
Consider taking a career assessment test to ensure nursing is an appropriate and satisfying choice for you. Talk to people already involved in the profession, ask them questions, and gauge their responses.
- You’ve become apathetic to change
Apathy to change can indicate that it is time to switch careers, particularly when considering switching to nursing. Nursing is a profession that relies heavily on adapting to changing environments and situations.
When someone is apathetic to change, they may be suffering from burnout and feel overwhelmed with the expectations placed on them. Burning out in one career can be a sign that it is time to consider a new line of work, and nursing can provide an opportunity for a fresh start.
Before making a career switch, it is important to consider why you have become numb to your current role. If you feel overwhelmed or unfulfilled in your current career, nursing can provide the challenge and satisfaction you may seek.
Along with this, a new career should bring renewed motivation and enthusiasm t. As with any new job, it is important to understand the responsibilities, training, and qualifications needed to transition to nursing.
Steps you can take when switching careers
- Evaluate your current job satisfaction
When switching careers, evaluating your current job satisfaction is important and should be taken seriously. It will allow you to identify opportunities or challenges when switching to nursing.
Start by reflecting on the aspects of your current job that make you unhappy and determine if you can do anything to rectify this. Comparatively, consider the elements you enjoy and if those aspects are transferable or applicable to nursing.
In addition, consider the differences in working hours, work-life balance, salary, and benefits offered in the new role. For example, nurses may need to work more hours than your current job requires, so you must determine if you can make the necessary changes.
- Assess your interests, values, and skills
Assessing one’s interests, values, and skills is important when switching careers. Consider what kind of work excites and interests you and which environment you want to work in.
Your values and beliefs should reflect those of the workplace and the profession, such as the ones related to patient care and ethical conduct. Think about the transferable skills you possess, like time management, problem-solving, and communication, that will help you excel in your new role.
- Consider alternative careers
Nursing is a great option for many people when considering alternative careers. It provides a wide range of opportunities that combine a love of caretaking with medical knowledge, giving individuals the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.
Those looking to transition from their current career into nursing must obtain the necessary licenses and certifications in most states and complete an accredited nursing program. Once licensed, individuals can access some of the most rewarding work within hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, and more.
Those looking to specialize can obtain additional certifications within the field to become even more marketable. Nurses can choose to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner, midwife, and more while continuing to work in the field of their current career.
- Check out job options
When switching to a career in nursing, it is important to look at the job options available. Gaining information from job postings and websites and talking with others in the industry can help to determine what type of nursing position best suits you.
Consider specialized fields as viable options, such as hospice, wound care, critical care, and long-term care, as these can offer different routes to a nursing career. Additionally, see if you meet the educational, licensing, or special requirements to fill available nursing positions.
A degree in the field of science or healthcare is often a preferred asset when applying for jobs in the nursing field. Look into local and national programs or certification courses specifically geared towards transitioning your career into nursing.
Elmhurst University has an MSN program for non-nurses that offers an in-depth introduction to nursing with an intense emphasis on clinical procedures, outstanding ability, quality, and safety.
Nurses enter the profession internationally, motivated to assist others. With a range of specialties and MSN jobs available, nursing opens the doors to developing a career that fits one’s interests, capabilities, and aims.
- Get personal
When switching careers to nursing, it is essential to take a personal approach. It may involve getting in contact with people in the sector and doing research on the field.
Networking is vital as it allows you to build relationships within the industry and find out about any openings which may be available. There are numerous online communities and forums related to nursing where you can ask questions and find support.
It is also recommended to focus on obtaining practical experience. Voluntary work or shadowing in healthcare is a good place to start. It enables you to gain an understanding of the profession and its demands, as well as demonstrate your commitment to the industry.
- Set up a job shadow
A job shadow can be a helpful step when switching careers to nursing. Job shadowing is when an individual can observe a specialist in the chosen field. It will help you know what to expect in the next career you choose and assist in avoiding financial struggles before making a choice.
Watching a professional nurse in a clinical setting allows you to see the job in action, understand the essential responsibilities, and ask questions. It gives people the opportunity to get an authentic experience and a better understanding of the profession and what it entails.
Job shadowing also allows you to connect with the individuals you come in contact with. Having these connections can open up doors when it comes to gaining a job in your new field.
- Upgrade your skills
Switching careers can seem daunting, but taking the right steps can make this life-changing decision easier. Some important steps to switch to a nursing career include gaining relevant work experience, completing an accredited education program, and upgrading your skills.
To upgrade your skills, you can take online or on-campus courses related to nursing, such as basic medical terminology and basic anatomy. You can also take additional training and certification classes to become qualified in specific areas, such as mental health or gerontology.
Additionally, gaining experience through volunteer or clinical placements can be extremely valuable. Once the necessary education and training are complete, the final step may be to pass the required licensure examination.
- Take a class
Taking a class when switching to a nursing career is a great idea. Nurses must often pass a licensing exam, take continuing education courses to stay current on the latest standards of care and treatments, and participate in internships or assistantship programs.
Depending on the nursing specialty you are going into, such as pediatric, adult, or geriatric, there may also be special certifications. Therefore, taking a class to help you transition into a nursing career is an important first step.
A class gives you a better understanding of nursing, prepares you for the licensing exam, and helps you identify the skills necessary for a successful nursing career. Taking a class lets you decide whether pursuing nursing is the right career.
Deciding whether it is time to switch careers is a deeply personal decision, and you should consider all the factors that will affect your life. When switching to a nursing career, assessing your emotional readiness, motivation, and commitment to the profession is important, then considering any additional training or educational requirements and how to finance them best
Once you are confident that you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the position, try to gain experience within the field through internships or volunteering opportunities and network with industry professionals.
Consider the potential impact the change could have on your lifestyle, finances, and relationships. With all of these elements in consideration, you can make a decision that will lead you to success and satisfaction in your next career.