Today’s labor market allows for career changes in the twenties, thirties and even forties. There are many reasons why someone would want to change their career. Someone wants to switch their career to one that offers more money or income. Someone is dissatisfied with the situation in the industry or institution where he or she works. Some want to become entrepreneurs and control their own lives. This process really started a couple of years ago and some call it the Great Reshuffle. In countries like the USA or Great Britain, it led to an increase in wages because employers were faced with the fact that workers decided to move to jobs with better pay or better working conditions.
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One of the typical career change situations today is to retrain as a programmer because the demand for programmers is constantly increasing, and the salaries of programmers are above average compared to most other professions. There are also people who retrain for trade jobs because there is a high demand for plumbers, electricians, and ceramicists in Croatia, partly due to the emigration of the same trades to other European countries, so there is a significant demand for trade vacancies.
If you have thought about changing your career, it would be good to think about a number of problems when changing your career before you decide on such an act.
Do I really want to change careers?
The first question you need to answer is why you want to change careers. You must be sure that this is a real question that bothers you, and not simply a case of thinking that the grass is greener in other professions, so to speak. Changing your career is a big life change, not only work-related but also affecting other parts of life. Can you imagine yourself kneeling or bending over at work for hours, or staring at screens displaying code hours at a time? Think about possible new career paths through the job portal Štoradiš.hr.
The employer as the culprit
A common reason for considering a career change are actually bad interpersonal relationships at the current job. Many people have thought at some point that they would rather be filing shelves than suffer pressure at work from superiors or colleagues. In this case, the person concludes that all employers in the same industry are subject to the same problems and that the only remedy is to leave the stressful occupation.
However, this does not have to be true. Maybe instead of changing careers, you actually just want a better employer with better work culture and interpersonal relationships. If this is your main motivation, we recommend that you first check the job offer in Štoradiš.hr.
Find out about the process
A good step when considering a career change is to find out about similar career change cases. This will show you not only whether a career change is feasible, but also what anticipated and unforeseen consequences may occur. Getting informed about people who have changed their careers can serve you well as inspiration to take that big step.
If you know them personally, they can even be your personal support during this process. Such a person could even help you try your hand at your newly desired job, which will greatly help you in making your final decision.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses
If you are thinking about a new job that you want to do, you must definitely think about whether your existing skills are suitable for the new job. Will you succeed as a developer or as a craftsman? Think about similar tasks at your current job and try to think about how big a career change you are planning. The path from one administrative job to another is not long, but it is a long road if you intend to switch from physical work to programming.
Think about where you see yourself in a year
It is important to emphasize that when making decisions about the future, you must think thoroughly about how your changed life will look like. Can you imagine yourself communicating regularly with strangers or working physically alone for many hours? Your characteristics also play a big role in this. It would not be a bad idea to ask your friends, family members, and other people who know you well for a second opinion. A career change could go badly and you might find yourself wanting to end the experiment and return to your old workplace.
Explaining the career change
An additional problem is that you’ll need to think about how you’ll present yourself as a suitable candidate in the industry you’re starting from scratch. You will surely be asked at the job interview why you changed your career and why the employer should choose you, and not someone younger.
The explanation for this must be well thought out and depends on the profession, but you can always say that you were motivated by the desire for a better job that presents you with a greater challenge or allows greater freedom in life choices. One common reason people change careers is the inability to advance, so you can also cite that as a reason for changing careers.
Am I too old to change careers?
This question is surely the most important one you can ask yourself. But there are a number of examples of people who successfully changed careers in their late thirties. One domestic actor became an excellent psychiatrist, and another example is of a television presenter who became a psychotherapist. As long as you are motivated, your ability to learn new things does not decrease significantly.
The question of time is not really reduced to the question of whether you are physically too old to learn something new, but whether you have the time and other resources to allow yourself a career change. For example, the most common career change today is programming, not because it is an easy profession to learn, but because programming skills can be learned through video tutorials, programming books, and discussion forums. If you have the money, enroll in a course at a specialized school or take one of the paid online courses that also offer certificates of competence.
Be prepared for negative reactions
If a career change is feasible and you desire it, this does not mean that your environment will accept your decision easily. Not only could you be criticized by your loved ones, but you will also encounter employers who believe that only young people can be diligent or learn new skills. When looking for a job, you will surely come across an employer who thinks you are too old for an entry-level position. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided, but you probably don’t want to work for such a person either.
The fact is that you yourself will feel uncomfortable when you have to explain big life changes to others. There will also be the fear that you have started the wrong process and that your entire effort is in vain. But you have to overcome those fears and stick to the original motivation that made you decide to change careers.
Prove that your previous career is also relevant
It is completely wrong to think that your old and new careers are not connected. In fact, they are probably more connected than you think. Almost all employers require skills such as organizational skills, communication skills, prioritizing tasks, and similar skills that you have already established in your previous job. Therefore, when changing careers, you can point out that, unlike other beginners, you already have proven and developed skills, which can even put you at an advantage over other candidates.
Don’t forget to mention that when you changed your career, you were driven by passion and motivation and that your career change was not the result of negative factors in your old profession, but positive features of your new profession. Try to stand out in your enthusiasm, without diminishing your previous experiences.
Is it possible to change your career in Croatia?
The aforementioned Great Reshuffle is a feature of large markets where there are many employers and employees, but that does not mean that it is impossible in Croatia. We should not forget that Croatia is part of the common market of the European Union and a career change can enable you to work for an international company or even emigrate to another country. Even emigration is not necessary for some professions because the sudden leap in teleconferencing technologies means that you can work from the comfort of your room for an employer who is actually based in the Netherlands or the Czech Republic.
It is worth mentioning that according to the data of the Croatian Employment Service, there is even a shortage of some low-skilled occupations in Croatia, among which almost all types of craftsmen stand out. Retraining for a ceramicist or a similar occupation costs less than an average salary in Croatia and offers a person the opportunity to become their own boss and choose the jobs they will be engaged in. If you are interested in which jobs are in demand, check the Štoradiš.hr page for more information.
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Author: Goran Mihelčić