Every self-help guru will tell you: “follow your heart, ditch that job if you are unhappy, move-on with your life!”
Many of us did start our professional lives on the wrong foot, not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Therefore, sometimes, making a bold move later in our careers seems to be the key to a new happy, fulfilling life.
If this is your case, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before making that decision. Following your heart is a wonderful thing, but you want to ensure you get a good return on your effort, money, and time investments.
Going back to school is time consuming.
A college degree may be worthwhile in the long-run, but are you ready to put in 4-6 years of study at university? If you do this full time, it will include long hours, a lot of reading and writing – not to mention study time and other assignments. Once you have finished your program, consider that you will be a junior in your field, and you may have to work your way up the corporate ladder. Also, remember that a degree does not guarantee a job.
Going back to school can also be costly.
With some degrees costing over $100K, you want to make sure that your education will provide a good return on your money. Of course you may become a superstar in your field and make an income in the 6-digits, but realistically, you will be within the standard rage of income, so make sure that you consider those costs. If your program costs $60K, and the prospect in your field is $30K a year, you may want to investigate a different path. TrueCostBlog broke down the ROI on most popular careers today.
Have you considered the alternatives?
Sometimes, you can get in a job that will be similar to the one you have in mind that does not require the same amount of schooling or money investment. Is it time to start your own business and hire someone who has the degree required? Perhaps you can find a company in which you can start as an assistant and that will pay for your continuing education? Keep your mind open for different avenues.
During the transition:
You also want to consider how you will support yourself during the transition. Perhaps your spouse or a family member can provide some financial support? Maybe you need to work the graveyard shift? If you have children and you work full time, you may face extra challenges. Have you considered waiting a few years until the children are more independent? Perhaps it is time to consider a live-in nanny?
A bold career change may seem out-of-reach, but it’s not impossible. Keep in mind that thousands of people successfully change careers every day. The most important attributes of these folks are dedication and hard work. If you decide to make the move, make that move wisely! Make sure you think about your ROI first!