If you’re thinking of making a career switch, you’re not alone.
About 58% of Singaporeans are planning to look for a new job, according to a 2022 study published by the Singapore Business Review. This trend and the Great Resignation observed globally show that Singaporeans are not shy to make great changes to their careers.
And perhaps this risk-taking is justified. With the economic changes happening on the global and local stages, jobseekers turned their gaze to growth sectors that offered greater stability, longevity, and personal job satisfaction.
Nonetheless, changing industries can be a risk, especially for mid-careerists. How does one decide whether to take this leap and when is a good time to do so? We break it down for you and offer resources to help you make this important career decision.
Looking to Singapore’s growth sectors
The mismatch of skills and jobs available, or structural unemployment, has been one of the greater concerns of Singapore’s labour force for many years now. This mismatch is expected, given the rapid pace of digitalisation and the ever-changing global landscape.
Those working in sunset industries, which face economic decline in the years to come, may choose to consider a role in growth sectors. During Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally Speech in 2022, he outlined six key sectors that will be important for Singapore in the next 30 years:
- Port and Transshipment
- Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Am I ready for a career switch?
No matter what the economy or job market is like, making a career switch is a significant step. To know if you’re ready, ask yourself these four questions.
1. Am I sure of the new career path I want to pursue?
If you’re struggling with your current job or industry, it may be tempting to just jump into a new role with both feet. However, joining a new industry without prior knowledge or preparation may have many unforeseen consequences that you may not be ready for.
To determine if this career path is truly right for you, first do your research. Tap into the right networks and speak to those currently working in the field that you’re keen about. You could apply for a Career Conversion Programme to get hands-on experience. Not only will you experience the day-to-day of your newly chosen field, but you can also get more industry connections if you choose to stay on.
2. Am I able to accept a potential pay cut?
Because you have less experience in this new field, entering a new industry may mean taking on a more junior role and even a pay cut.
If you’re passionate about switching industries, check your finances first. Talk to your family and assess your savings to ensure you can still meet financial obligations with a smaller paycheck.
3. Am I planning to buy a big-ticket item?
Given the financial hit you might take with the switch, big-ticket purchases like a wedding or a home may cause great stress during this change. Before you make the change, take your long-term plans into consideration.
For instance, if you have plans to take up a home loan in the near future, a career switch could affect your eligibility. Banks will consider a candidate’s income stability when approving loans. You may not meet their approval criteria if you’re a mid-careerist with only 5 months of experience in a new industry.
4. Am I currently shouldering a huge personal commitment?
Making a change in your professional life may also impact your personal one. Before you make the jump, check in with yourself to see if you can shoulder the commitment.
For example, are you a caregiver for young children or the elderly? Is your mental wellness in the right state for a big professional shift? Are you burnt out or does your health require more attention right now?
Making your career switch an informed decision
Changing industries could be one of the best decisions you make for your career. Make sure that it’s an informed one. Here is a list of relevant articles compiled to help you decide how to see through your mid-career switch smoothly.
How to prepare for a career switch
Navigating new industries