Reboot Your Career, Reboot Your Life

Our careers are what we usually base our lives around. The location we live in and the friends we interact with often depend on the type of job we have. For instance, if you work in a software development company, you probably have a bunch of friends who are computer savvy and love to tinker with computers. If you work as an artist, then you most likely work as a freelancer or as part of a larger company and you probably have a studio at home where you can draw, paint and be creative.

However, there are times in our lives when we wish we could reboot our lives. We wish we could leave our job and start from scratch with a new career, or we wish that we picked a different discipline when we studied at university. These midlife crisis situations aren’t uncommon, but we rarely ever act on them. Thankfully, if we are able to take the plunge and find something new to achieve or work towards in life, then not only will we be better off, we’re also effectively rebooting our lives.

Move away and find a new life

One of the most drastic ways to reboot your career is to look for homes for sale in another location. It could be another part of town, another city, a different state or even overseas in a different country. The further the location, the further away you’ll be from your previous life. For instance, if you move to a home which is only a couple of miles away, then you don’t have much of an excuse to change your job, and you’ll still be interacting with the same friends. However, if you move to another city, then visits from friends and family will be much more sparse and you’ll have to look for a new job unless you want to commute for several hours a day.

Find something you love to do

Before deciding on a career change, you want to try and think about what makes you happy in life. Think back to when you were young and what made you chuckle with joy with your friends. Was it playing video games? Then perhaps a career in video game design would be suitable, and you can find ways to incorporate your career into your new one. For instance, as a software designer, it doesn’t take much time to transfer your skills to game development. If you were previously an artist, then becoming part of an art team for a video game studio or a concept artist would be a great choice.

As another example, if you loved exploring when you were young, then perhaps you could get a job as an exploration specialist for an energy company, or you could start a career in travel blogging. All you need is some money, a way to blog and a camera, then you can set off into the wilderness, recording your adventures and taking pictures to show to the world. Blogging is a tough career, but it’s also one that offers freedom.

Your Own Business: The Financial Side

Money is stress. Well, for most of us it is, or to be precise, those that don’t have it. We will struggle with our finances most of our lives, and we will feel the pinch of being poor however we look at our situation, and one of those situations is when we make the change from being employed to being self-employed, or going into business for yourself. It is a given that when you first make the tentative leap to being a freelancer or going into business with a partner or as a sole trader, the first 6 to 12 months are hard, financially or emotionally. Here is what to expect…

You will be operating without a safety net… and this is a lot for people to get their heads around, especially when making the transition from a job with security and a pension. Financially speaking, you need to plan ahead for the times where work may be dry, or you may not be making much profit. A lot of people making that change can feel vastly put-off by the notion of earning hand to mouth. And while the pay can be low, there will be times that you earn more money than normal in the space of a month. It is impossible to predict your pay in this situation, not until your company or line of work starts to even out and you know how much you will earn at the bare minimum each month. Things like pension plans are easy to put off, and people have that “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” attitude. But what about if you are unable to work due to injury? Do you have people that depend on you to earn an income? If so, then you need to find a system whereby you can put some money aside for an unplanned event.

You will learn a lot…  about everything! You will learn how to do your taxes properly (well, to the best of your ability) and you will learn about what you are really capable of. By going self-employed you are, in essence, wearing many hats. You will devise a system of keeping track of business expenses, and you will work many late nights to balance the books and chase payments, possibly while juggling work as a full-time parent! You will learn a lot from your mistakes. For those that freelance, make sure that you set up a business account in your name, it is easier to keep track of work finances against the outgoings from your personal spending. When it comes to doing your tax return, it is much easier to see a bank statement from one account that shows your business outgoings and expenses rather than having to cross-check everything from your personal bank account, which is time and effort you don’t have!  

You will have help from the unlikeliest sources… really! There are government advice lines and sites at your disposal, so you don’t need to feel like you are on your own in the process. A common mistake people make at the start of their self-employment is to not claim expenses, which is mainly a hangover from being employed. You are plowing a lot of your finances into making your business or freelance work profitable, and you shouldn’t have to pay tax on it. There are things like the Uniform Tax Rebate, that help people to claim back the costs of their work uniforms as well as their work tools, and a lot of people are unaware of what exactly they can claim on. This is why a lot of people have accountants to do their work, but if you are unable to afford one at this point in time, you can find help online, and you can claim on unexpected items. For example, if you work from a home office, you claim part of your utility bills for the energy used in that room, which, if you use a computer 12 hours a day, it can eat into your energy bill so having a portion of your electricity bill back will be a big help!

As more and more people choose the route of self-employment as a way to earn money, it is something that needs to be communicated, your finances are more important than ever, and you need to think long-term in how you look after yourself and your dependents. With careful planning and constant assessment of your outgoings, it will help you survive those first sticky months.

A Career Change Isn’t Rocket Science!

If you’re stuck in a rut at your work, it might be time for you to heavily consider changing your career. This doesn’t need to be the huge leap of faith that it is sometimes made out to be, but of course, you’ll be exchanging a pretty safe opportunity for a dream. It is a hard bargain.

However, it’s worth saying that nobody is ‘one and done’ with life. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to change roles and work in the field that you want to, in fact – you might even find that your dream job isn’t your dream job when you get into the role! It’s very important to not take it far too seriously. Humans do not naturally thrive under pressure, so don’t add any more to yourself. Once you think you’ve found your true calling it can be easy to add a lot of pressure – you desperately want to make it work, right?

It’s likely that you will change your career direction a lot during your working life – many people do – so simply take it one step at a time. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you not only identify the roles you’d want to work in, but exactly what skills you need to gain the role and excel in it. Think about the skills you are proficient at as well as the skill you will enjoy using. These will help you find specific job roles.

The next step? Training. Take all the pressure off of yourself and allow yourself to focus on what skills and experience you need to gain to get into the role you want to have.

Career changes take place in wide open stages, so your training will never really stop. Identifying areas you can improve in is a good idea as is getting feedback on your current development. The training you need will also vary. If you need to enhance your English skills, you might link up with a team like Effortless English Club who can help you improve your English skills for a job in the Western world. If you want to be an Architect you’ll have to study your craft on a./n academical basis to be qualified. It’s all about knowing exactly what you need to do to be able to find the training you need to boost your career prospects. If you’re lacking skills, you can find plenty of ways to improve via volunteer work and internships as well. Sometimes we can find it hard to find ways to improve. That’s ok, there are still ways we can focus our skills to take them to the next level, we just need to do more to dig deep and find opportunities to improve. If they aren’t freely available, it’s time to focus on a particular skillset that can be realistically improved in the meantime.

On a final note, a career change isn’t for everyone, so assess all the factors and reasoning behind your actions before jumping into a new line of work.