On just about any new job, you’re excited, ambitious and focused.

For some people, a particular job turns into a lifetime career option. While for others, making a career change becomes inevitable.

You might be wanting a change for a variety of reasons: better job growth, improved work-life balance, higher salary, greater advancement opportunities.

But any career change brings pros & cons. Risks & benefits. So you must analyze it carefully.

Here are some important questions to help you decide a career change is actually what you need.

1. What makes you dissatisfied about your current work or career path?

You must ask yourself what aspects of your career or job makes you want to change it.

Is it simply a matter of a difficult colleagues? Or a challenging boss?

Perhaps issues over compensation & benefits, industry changes,or even a lack of advancement opportunities?

This analysis is crucial – you need to ensure you know what you want. And that you don’t face similar problems in the future. Organizational problems can be discussed with your manager. However, reasons like change in interest or passion might require a career change to keep yo engaged in your work.

2. What are your transferable skills?

Transferable skills are employment skills or general abilities that are required across a range of industry job profiles. For example: communication skills, computer skills and organizational skills. These can be transferred from one job role to another.

A strong skill set is imperative to embark on a different career path. Taking the assistance of a professional coach can help you up to an extent to determine your abilities and skills and search the different career options that meet your experience and capabilities.

3. What do you expect from your next career?

Because of the risk involved in a career change, it is vital that you be clear about what you’re seeking with this potential change.

So what is important to you: improved work-life balance, job avenues, or a high compensation package? Maybe you’re seeking a strong, collaborative team with like-minded colleagues? Make your list and have it prioritized.

4) What are the consequences of a career change?

A career change can bring significant changes in earning capacity, new learning curves, additional challenges and job satisfaction levels. Any of these items may change for the good – or for the bad – when changing careers. Think it through, and see if you’re willing to live with the consequences – good and bad.

5) What are you willing to invest?

If the career you’re considering is going to require additional training, you need to address what you’re willing to invest. Will there be additional education required? Does it take tuition, or can you self-study your way to a new opportunity?

It might be worth using a talent assessment to help you answer some of the questions above. And although it takes a little time and effort, discovering your strengths via an objective analysis can pay off big when you’re at a decision crossroads.

Changing a career can be an exciting – and daunting! – experience. Moreover, there can be no success mantra to get the desired result at the time of planning a career move. However, with a holistic approach, one can come up with the flying colors. So get ready for a bright future!

About the Author: Swati Srivastava is a professional writer who writes on behalf of Shiksha.com. Her articles cover a wide range of educational topics in different fields such as management studies, engineering and law.