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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Changing Careers

You think you want a career change, but how do you know? There are so many factors that go into the big decision of a career change, especially in an economy where no matter how experienced you are there is no guarantee of another job on the horizon.

Changing careers not only affects your day to day working environment, but can also affect your social life, how often you see the people you live with, your mental health and your family finances. If you are trying to onramp or returning to work after maternity, a career change might be even more difficult. Knowing yourself and making sure you know everything there is to know about a career change will give you the confidence you need to make the right decision.

Here are some questions to ask before you make the decision for a career change:

1. Have I done my research?

a. When you are looking into changing careers there are specific topics you should research, especially if you already have a benefits package from previous employers that will be ending. Some topics of interest include:

i. Salary

ii. Type of work environment

iii. Relocation

iv. Insurance

v. 401K plan

2. What are the benefits and drawbacks of a career change?

a. Benefits: higher salary, more diverse work environment, closer to home, showcase new talents

b. Drawbacks: lower salary, longer drive, new training courses, unfamiliar faces, starting over

3. Am I qualified for a career move?

a. When looking into a career change to a specific new job, make sure you have the correct credentials needed for the position. A college degree, certificates and work experience are all usual forms of qualifications needed in careers.

4. Can I transfer my current skills?

a. Make sure you are aware of the skills you have and are fully capable of transferring them to a new career, and more importantly, that they are in fact useful skills in another career field.

5. Am I prepared for changing careers?

a. After answering the above four questions, your mind is still set with changing careers. After you have hurtled that decision, now you need to know how to prepare for another job. Make sure you have/know the following:

i. Resume

ii. Cover letter

iii. Prepared answers for questions in an interview

iv. Know the appropriate dress code for an interview

v. Health insurance questions

vi. How changing careers will affect your spouse/people living with you

Melissa Rubin is a senior copywriter and Web developer at OTO Networks, a digital marketing company located in Baltimore, Maryland. Her primary responsibilities include SEO, link building and creating content for multiple sites. A preview of a site on which she has worked, http://www.ModernWorkforce.com, is available with this article.

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