Did you know that the average person changes their career six times in their working life? There are many different reasons why a person would decide to switch careers- they may be laid off at their current job, a dream job may come along, people in a committed relationship may find themselves having to consider new prospects due to a change in location of the job of the other partner, or someone may just become plain bored in their current career, to the point where it feels like there is no point to the day. Career changes are not a bad thing, but they need to be planned according to the circumstances of your life, in such a way that you will still have the funds coming in which you need to survive.
Most of us will spend our lives hoping for the ideal job, but this will rarely materialize. The fact is, almost all jobs have their pitfalls- we may scoff at actors of musicians who complain about their long workdays or schedules, pointing to their pay checks, but the fact is that many jobs that offer lucrative incomes also entail a lot of dedication and hard work in order to get to the top. When you are defining your dream job, remember that almost every job comes with its downside, even if that downside is only the repetitiveness of the day.
A career change does not necessarily have to entail extensive retraining. Many people who have lost their jobs through layoffs or downsizing will find that their skills are still in demand, and that their experience is very useful in finding a new career. If you do not feel like retraining, consider a job with a different company where your skills fit. If you want to get right out of the corporate area, the odds are good that you can find a niche for yourself as an independent consultant or another area in which your expertise will add to your marketability.
Some people decide that they in fact do desire a total 360 degree turn from their current career path. In such circumstances, it is again best to begin by shopping the skills obtained at your former job only applied to new markets. You may also want to consider some retraining through college or university courses. There are many training courses available online, so people often do not even have to leave their homes in order to obtain the skills necessary to their new careers.
Whatever your decision, remember that it is always easier to find a new job when you are not desperate for one. Take the time to think through your decisions and applications carefully before severing ties with your current job; you may be ready for a change, but you will still have to eat in the meantime! In the event that your company has been downsized or other circumstance that has led to being laid off, find out if there are any contingency plans in place for retraining through the company or through any of the levels of government. This can provide a good financial buffer for that in-between time.