Factors to Consider

If you are considering a career shift, explore the following factors to ensure a successful and smooth transition.

Explore, specify, and evaluate the reasons for the career shift

Maybe you are optimistic due to a voluntary career shift or maybe you are confused and anxious as a result of an involuntary career shift. Either way, understanding the reason for the shift will make for an easier adaptation to your new path.

Acquire all of the necessary information relevant to the career shift

Do you need more education and training? What steps are necessary for the desired change? Where and how would you get this information? See the Resources for Career Research page on this site for career planning resources.

Envision the possible effects of a career shift

Will there be financial ramifications? Will family life be affected? Will lifestyle change appreciably? Will geographical relocation be required? What will be the immediate, intermediate, and long-range consequences? What resources (financial, emotional, and so on) do you have to manage the consequences?

Develop needed job seeking or education seeking behaviors

Learn how to write an effective resume and practice your interview skills. Do research to ensure you have adequate information on companies, industries, or schools. Visit a career counselor in the Career Development Center to find resources and learn research strategies or visit the Jobs Search Preparation section of this website.

Identify or clarify your abilities, interests, values, and personal characteristics

Will your attributes facilitate or impede the transition to a different career, occupation, or job? Are there any physical, mental, or emotional challenges to consider?

Form a plan for career placement

Utilize the Fresno State Career Development Center, your personal and professional network, and local resources to find opportunities

Gauge the extent of your support network

Are social support and financial support adequate to meet the demands of the career change? What buffers exist to assuage the sometimes painful effects of a significant life change?

Some or all of the above may present to you difficult challenges in the face of your career transition. We bring up these factors not to discourage a career shift, but just to make certain that you are aware of all of the potential effects of your life change and can better prepare or buffer negative outcomes. Although challenging, change can be just what you need to increase work and life satisfaction.

This information was adapted from:

Herr, E. L., Cramer, S. H., & Niles, S. G. (2004).   Career guidance and counseling through the lifespan.   Pearson Education Inc: Boston.