‘The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are’.
A career can be defined as an occupation undertaken by a person over a certain period of time and has an opportunity for progress. Deciding about which career to opt for can leave a person baffled, specially when the choice has to be made early. Some people have no idea if he or she is suitable for the opted job. Whether they are right or wrong about their selection depends on their job satisfaction. Here comes the ‘career switch’, which enables the unsatisfied employees to change their career and start afresh. People change their careers for different reasons - both personal and professional. Some change their careers for a better pay, more satisfaction, more fulfilled, wanting a new challenge, while others switch for better work-life balance, less stressful work, more flexibility, relocation or better benefits. Trends are showing that people are no longer working for one single company for their whole career. But one needs to be careful while switching a career because one wrong step can set him or her back in their career.
Career switch cannot be done in a hurry, it is a gradual process of evaluating one’s knowledge and skills. It depends on different factors and needs of the person.
- Firstly, one has to keep up with the current trends of industries. One has to notice which industry is making a profit and which is in demand.
- One has to evaluate their current job satisfaction. The things that are dissatisfying should be listed and taken under consideration before moving to a new job. They need to identify the problem - whether it is their work, their colleagues, their employers or the working environment.
- The reason behind the career switch should be well assessed. Apart from job satisfaction, one needs to pursue their ambition. According to The Guardian, questions like what you like to do or what you are interested in doing can answer, “where to next?” type of questions.
- One should make a list of companies that they always have considered to be working for and observe if they can see themselves working there with their skills.
- Past experiences and works including volunteer work, work related to previous job and different project works should be reviewed in order to assess the key skills and interests of a person.
- One should always research and discuss their skills and values with their friends and family members to come up with new ideas for their career alternatives. If it becomes difficult to come up with bright ideas, professional help, such as a career counselor, is always recommended.
- One should have a clear knowledge about their area of expertise. Before applying for a particular job, one should explore all information available about the company. Nowadays, it has become easier to collect information about anything because of the internet. In that way, the person can become aware about what to expect in the new company.
- By observing the professionals at work, one can have a better understanding of the job that interests them. This is known as job shadowing. College career office is a great place to look for alumni volunteers who are more than happy to host job shadowers.
- If someone is confused about their ‘hidden talent’, he or she can volunteer or work as a freelancer for a few days to identify their particular interest.
- Different workshops are also available, not only in college but also in different parts of the world. Attending those workshops could also help in deciding further career choices.
Standing in 2020, the career switch has become more popular among the covid 19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a massive fall in economic growth. With almost five million people working remotely, the recent trends that we can look forward to are:
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most accurate imitation of human thoughts and behavior through a robotic device. The robot is programmed in such a way that it can identify commands given to it, think logically and answer accordingly. AI is already being used in hospitals in treatment of patients, dosing drugs and even in surgery in an operating room. Machines like a computer also possess AI. A computer can identify the command given to it and acts accordingly. For example, a computer is used to play chess and in self driving cars. AI is also applied in the financial industry such as the banking sector. AI helps with large account deposits, debit cards and in preventing fraud.
- DATA PROFICIENCY - Technological knowledge is no longer limited to engineers and programmers. Now, companies are expecting everyone they hire to have technical knowledge. According to Gartner, ‘50% of organisations lack sufficient Artificial Intelligence and data literacy skills to achieve business value’. Data skills are in demand nowadays and companies are hiring more and more employees to fill up the positions.
- EDGE, FOG AND CLOUD COMPUTING - With the increase in cyber-crime, everyone is concerned about their data security. Cloud security provides data privacy and secures them that is stored in the cloud. It has become a day to day part of the IT industries that use cloud. Three types of clouds are available - private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds of which both private and public clouds have gained their popularity. Cloud security uses different tools and strategies to secure data. It uses micro segmentation technique which divides data into different segments causing minimal damage during cyber attack. It also uses next generation firewalls, data encryption, threat intelligence, monitoring and prevention.
Other trends in 2020 include: Network and connectivity, internet of everything, digital twin, additive manufacturing, big data and analytics, virtual reality, cognitive learning and many more.
With new trends come new opportunities, new windows to try on new things. ‘Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion’. So choose wisely.