Should you change careers? It’s a question a lot of people are asking themselves. Here are a couple of major questions that will help answer the question for you.

It’s possible that never before have so many people been considering a career change. Millions of North Americans have quit their jobs in the last few months in what is being dubbed “the great resignation” and millions of others have been forced out of their roles. So, many are asking if they should be looking into a career change. There’s a good chance the answer is yes, even if you can return to your old job right now.

Here are two major factors to consider when deciding if you should change careers. If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” you might want to think about it.

Will your job exist in 5 or 10 years?

There are always lists coming out of dying professions. Often, they’re a bit silly and there’s no way to tell if they’re right. Travel agents commonly make the list but while, yes, many people skip the agent to book their own travel these days, it’s also likely that a certain sector of society will always want the help of an experienced professional – especially those with means. While there will be fewer travel agents, there will still be travel agents. Similarly, mortgage broker is often said to be a dying career but these claims might be exaggerated, given the strong state of the Canadian real estate market. And, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be an eight per cent increase in demand for loan officers between 2018 and 2028, which is about the national average for all careers and is not a decline.

That said, it’s worth checking those lists to see if anything rings true. And you can probably tell from your own experience whether there’s less demand for your job.

Manufacturing, cashier, and customer service roles have been impacted since the pandemic and accelerated the pace of automation. According to Time, these jobs are not likely to return. Even copywriters are seeing AI muscle in on their turf.

Take a look at your sector and role and ask yourself if it will still exist in a few years. If it won’t, you’re doing to have to find something else to do.

Will you be able to do your job a few years from now?

OK, say your job will still exist Will you be able to do it? There may be any number of reasons why the answer is no.

Travel agents will probably still exist but demand will be lower and it will be a struggle for some to find work. Many professions are seeing massive numbers of candidates vying for too few roles. Jobs in some sectors are becoming increasingly difficult to get.

Jobs that impact your body and are physically demanding might be another factor to consider. If your job is taxing on your body, will you be able to do it in 10 years?

And then there’s the learning curve, which continues to steepen for those who need to stay relevant. Our jobs are changing rapidly which, when combined with ageism on the market, means we might not be able to keep up. I have friends who, when they were younger, trained for professions that either no longer exist or that have changed so dramatically they might as well be different jobs. Like graphic designers who worked with drafting tables, Letraset, and tracing paper before the advent of Photoshop and InDesign. I used to be a print journalist and now I’m a content marketer. My job today bears almost no resemblance to the one I started out doing.

Continuing to learn and keeping up with change is crucial in any profession. But the reality is that change can outpace us as life goes on and makes other plans. We have families to support and children to raise. Our time gets sucked up by other things and we fall behind. Younger people equipped with the required skills and unburdened by outdated ones swoop in and take over. Then what?

That’s when we start researching the possibilities, identifying our transferrable skills, and looking at a career change.

Those who find ways to move from dying fields to in-demand jobs are obviously likely to do better than those who don’t. This might include taking online courses and learning new tech skills – you can’t avoid the learning part – or starting a business of your own. There’s no guarantee that another disruption won’t derail you again. But at least it’s mobility.

According to some sources, jobs that will not disappear include lawyers, HR professionals, nurses, personal support workers, and skilled trades people.