Are you working in the most relevant field? How optimal is your career? Questions like that are commonly shared and cut through all types of seniority and industries.
In June 2021, Bloomberg released an article highlighting the difficulties people face when finding a new career path or simply considering their current one. The truth is, it can be a challenge.
In summary, author Arianne Cohen and Dr Erica Groshen, who served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2013-17; elaborate on the lack of reliable data for people in need to enter or re-enter the job market today.
We can all name a handful of sites that allow us to explore job openings. However, such aggregation of job posts lacks a more extensive perspective; it doesn’t let people make informed decisions about how particular industries will evolve.
Quoting the article, “There’s no easy way to say: I could pursue this or that line of work, and in five years I could be making this amount of money with that title. So how do you cobble together your own dashboard? There’s no easy solution.”
Traditionally, labour data, especially salaries, has operated in an opaque mode. While open sources of anonymous data are on the rise, including sites such as Glassdoor, TeamBlind or level.fyi, the quality and accuracy of their data are still up for debate. Other companies aggregate a more extensive set of curated data, such as salary.com, intending to make fair pay a reality.
Adding complexity to the situation, salaries don’t come in standard size and shape; such discrepancy in salaries across similar roles is often well supported by relevant experience and capabilities from each candidate, albeit on occasions they are driven by gender or race.
Destination Dreamland: A New Career
While there is no way to simplify the challenges involved in choosing a career or a new path ahead, we provide you with a checklist for items to consider and questions to ponder on.
There is a tipping point where money doesn’t increase job satisfaction. Focus on characteristics that will drive your happiness in the long term, start from the top, with the actual industry or field you are evaluating, move down to companies within that field, and then to the potential roles you could aim for as well as following positions you might have after that.
This top-down approach will help you focus on significant trends, such as is this industry a force for good? Would I be happy to spend my next decade working on solving the most pressing problems of the companies in the industry? Will I need to relocate often, or will jobs be available in my current location for the foreseeable future?
If money plays a crucial role in your decision, focus on finding work areas where a rising tide will lift all the boats in the water. Look for opportunities in fields that have an unfair advantage in the future because they are creating it.
One of your top considerations when evaluating new career paths should be the personal growth opportunities that you will be able to tab in the future.
People are often inclined to do pursuit career changes after a period of career stagnation. While that is an acceptable reason to make a move, dedicate some time to research if the grass is greener on the other side before making a drastic change.
Keep Optionality Open
Optionality is often the key to success navigating uncertainty. In the same way that planting more seeds will deliver more flowers, having career optionality will provide you with more options.
Consider a way to dip your toes in several fields and forms of work. Full-time work is no longer the only way to find sources of income or personal fulfilment. From the creator economy to the rising trend of gig workers, these low-risk, high reward possibilities will provide invaluable insights about yourself and ultimately help you grow and make better decisions.
First, Get A Free MBA
The cost of education has never been higher; research indicates that education costs have increased nearly eight times faster than wages in recent years, with no sign of stopping.
Getting specialized education as a way to pivot your career is often not an option for many. Luckily, free ways to gain new knowledge are just a few clicks away. The amount of podcasts that have great educational value is high and on the rise; complementing that with low-cost online courses and education will pave the way to discover a new field without taking a loan to pay for it.
You Are Not Alone
Changing career paths is not a dilemma we are faced with daily; such low-frequency problems can lead people to believe that there are limited resources for them to tap into.
Leveraging an existing pool of contacts with twists in their career paths can provide an invaluable source of information and inspiration.
Own Your Destiny
The easiest way to have the perfect career is to create it, or so the saying goes. Entrepreneurship is not easy; however, it allows you for customization and flexibility in the early stages. Consider taking a personal leap of faith and start your own company; it has never been easier or cheaper.
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