After working at a tiring job for a long time, you may feel ready for something new. Whether you’re looking for better pay, hours, or work environment, changing jobs can be frightening and stressful. If you want to switch careers, that can put even more stress on yourself to find the right one. However, it can also be liberating to finally feeling fulfilled at work.
If you are looking for a new job and considering a career change, you should consider all of the possibilities. With family members who depend on you and other responsibilities, it is important to take on a family perspective before changing jobs, especially if it’s a bigger career switch. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself during your job search.
How will my family be impacted?
This is the most crucial question you should consider when looking for new jobs. Your job change will impact their lives somehow, even if it’s merely changing hours or your job location. Will you have time to spend with your children? Will there be any major or minor changes to their lifestyle? Will your spouse continue with their career, or will you all need to relocate?
Changing jobs can impact the way your partner and children live now and in the future. No matter what decision you make, there will always be consequences, both good and bad. It’s important to weigh those and decide if the positive impact on your home will be greater than any negatives.
Some positives you can consider are better pay, if your work hours will give you some time at home with the family, an easier commute, or if you will feel happier in a different work environment. Negatives may include long hours, less pay, or more stress from different responsibilities.
Can I financially support my family with this change?
Switching jobs or careers can be a great thing. Sometimes even working for less but doing what you love can feel more meaningful. However, before taking on a new job, you should consider if you will support your family financially with your new salary. How great is the financial risk of this new career? And are you financially stable enough to take a risk?
Even if it means taking a pay cut, changing careers is entirely possible if you carefully budget your money and time. A job change can be very beneficial as long as you can still provide for your family and have secure finances just in case things don’t go the way you hope.
How will it impact my mental health?
The way you feel about your job, and work stress will inevitably impact your family no matter how hard you try to separate yourself from it. If this job change causes more stress or anxiety, less time to care for your mental wellbeing, and a longer commute in traffic, it may negatively impact your family interactions.
However, a new job can make you feel more satisfied and fulfilled at work, improving your time at home. Children will pick up on the stress you feel no matter what age they are, and they will feed off of your positive or negative moods. That doesn’t mean you need to pretend to be happy all the time, but you want to consider whether your new job really will make you feel happier or if there’s something deeper making you feel unhappy with your current work.
Will you need to start over?
Along with this question is another: can you afford to start over? Building new skills and taking on new responsibilities may be difficult if you don’t meet the basic requirements for a job. If you decide to make a career switch, you may need to start from the bottom. Will your new job require certifications or another degree? If that’s the case, how much will it cost, and how long will it take?
Consider your professional growth and the growth of your industry. Will you have the time and opportunities to reach your fullest potential in this new career? Starting over in a new industry may not give you as much time to rise in the industry, affecting your future comfort and retirement. It can also affect your children’s future when it comes time to pay for their insurance, college tuition, and other expenses. Ensure you know what the future may look like for you and your children.
While switching careers comes with many considerations, it can bring you a lot of happiness and satisfaction. Since your job change will inevitably impact them, involve your family in your decision. Openly discuss how everyone feels about this change and its pros and cons. That way, you can confidently make this decision knowing your family is supporting you all the way.
Emily currently lives in Orange County, California after spending four years in Illinois and half a year teaching in Florence, Italy. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Knox College and an M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Diego and has taught English to native speakers and ESL students for over three years. When she’s not working as a School Counselor or writing, she enjoys traveling the world, playing instruments, and blogging about Millennial experiences at Long Live the Twenties.