Most Americans want to change industries. But is it smart?
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many people to rethink their careers. Some people are looking to change jobs to continue working remotely. Others are looking for more flexible hours for a better work-life balance. And many are considering a career change.
A good 48% of Americans rethink the job they want, and 53% would convert to a career in another industry if the opportunity presented itself, according to the latest report from Prudential The pulse of the American worker report. If you are considering changing industries, be aware of the pros and cons in order to make the right decision.
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The benefits of changing industries
Switching to a new industry could be to your advantage in many ways. It could lead to more fulfilling work. It could also open the door to career growth, especially if you are moving from a more stagnant industry to a developing one.
Changing careers could also lead to a higher salary. Earning more money could mean an opportunity to supplement your savings and achieve big financial goals like buying a home.
The disadvantages of changing industries
On the other hand, you are faced with certain risks when you move to a new industry. You might not like the new job better – something you might not achieve until you try a new area.
In addition, changing industries often means starting from the bottom. If you’re only a few years away from your career, this might not be such a big step backwards. But if you’ve been working for 20 years and making a major change, it could lead to a huge setback. It could also mean making a lot less money, at least to start with. Make sure you can afford a pay cut before moving forward, and prepare to earn less for several years, until you qualify for promotion.
How to approach an industry change
Before you change industries, know what you’re really getting into. It’s good to talk to people who work in the industry you’re looking to break into and get the inside scoop. Find out what their day-to-day tasks are like, what they think of the industry outlook, and whether they think the industry as a whole is relaxed or ruthless. At the same time, research salary data in this industry to get an idea of what your earnings might look like once you establish yourself in this field.
Moving to a new industry could be a solid step for your career – one that leads to growth, more meaningful work, extra money, and a better work-life balance. Just do a lot of research before you start.