Your Next Best Career

Hey Anita,

I’m a computer programmer and I am thinking about changing careers. Years of sitting in front of a PC for 10-12 hours a day is taking its toll, and my New Year’s resolution of getting healthy and in better physical shape has fallen by the wayside. Any advice?

Geek_1915240_smallDear, Geek Physique,

You are not alone; 21% of employees plan to leave their jobs this year, according to CareerBuilder. (I have no statistics on how many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolution!) But are you sure you want to leave your current position? Tech salaries rose 7.7% in 2015, averaging $96,370. Think carefully before making a dramatic job transition. Oftentimes, a career change means a sharp decrease in salary, at least temporarily until you can move up the ladder in your newly chosen industry.

If you’re serious about a major change, CareerBuilder just released a list of the 25 Best Jobs in America for 2016. While many are management positions, there are several on the list to which you could transfer your existing IT skills which makes for an easier career change. But a new Solutions Architect or Mobile Developer position may not address your health and fitness goals. Check out my blog post, Work Toward 10,000 Steps, to see if you could make some tweaks in your current daily job life to stay where you are. If not, check out Glassdoor’s list of 10 Jobs That Can Keep You Fit for inspiration, ranging from dance instructor to firefighter.

Here are some points to ponder when considering a career change:

  • Know thyself. With a little help from an online career quiz or two, really think about what your dream job would be, based on your preferences and personality traits. Do you honestly think you could transition to the dance instructor suggested by Glassdoor?
  • Research job possibilities. Based on the assessments’ recommendations and your own free association list, check out interesting job titles (indeed.com) to see what tasks the positions entail and the average salaries (salary.com). Don’t forget to look within your current company for opportunities to make a lateral move.
  • No transferable skills? You’ll need training. Determine new competencies you’ll need, then find learning resources. It could be as little as an online Excel course, or a full-blown master’s degree program.
  • Can your network help? Who do you know who can help you get a foot in the door in your newly chosen field? A mentor in your target profession could be helpful, as well.

Readers: Have you ever considered changing careers? What’s holding you back?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mischi
    Feb 09, 2016 @ 00:06:04

    To your post about career changes: I am in the middle of a career change and it has been rough to say the least. For years, I worked as a blue collar worker driving an eighteen wheeler truck in various capacities. I have since put myself through a four year degree program and am continuing with a vocational flight school, as I always felt my dream job would be to drive somebody’s G-IV Gulfstream Jet or corporate King Air turbo-prop. I have succeed in attaining my private pilots licence with instrument ratings and am poised to take my single engine commercial check ride. With still many more ratings to come, it has been and will continue to be a struggle to make ends meet. That said, however, I wouldn’t change a thing. No one ever succeeded by sitting on the side lines and wishing for their opportunity; those whom have succeeded, pursued their own opportunities.

    Reply

    • anitaclew
      Feb 09, 2016 @ 08:52:34

      Mischi, I’m glad to hear you gave wing to your goals and aspirations. Let me know when you get your commercial pilot’s license!

      Reply

  2. Todd Hicks
    Feb 08, 2016 @ 21:55:45

    Your profile link doesn’t work, Juliana.

    Reply

  3. Juliana guzman
    Feb 06, 2016 @ 08:33:03

    I really need a job so please help me. Tgank u

    Reply

  4. Todd Hicks
    Feb 03, 2016 @ 23:02:55

    Geek Physique, you can try spending more of your time at work standing at your desk and walk around for a few minutes at least once every 30 to 45 minutes. This can work wonders for you.

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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