How to Navigate a Career Change (At Any Age!)

Whether you’re feeling like you can’t progress any further in your current role, you want to challenge yourself to something new, or you’re just stuck in a rut, there are lots of reasons why you might want a career change.

If spring-cleaning your career is on your mind, our five top tips for changing career will help make your job change a success!

How to Change Careers

1. Ask yourself why

Before you do anything about a new career, the most important question to ask yourself is why you want to make the change. Is starting a new career going to give you what you want, or do your motivations really lie elsewhere?

Generally, but not always, there are 2 types of people who may want to change up their working life. It might be that you’re happier elsewhere, whether that’s when you’re not working or when you’re focusing on other work. For example, you might want to change careers because:

  • You have a burning passion that you’d love to make into a living
  • You can no longer see a future for yourself in your current career
  • Your current career is at odds with the work-life balance you want

Or it might be because you’re unhappy at work, in which case, a career shift might be beneficial if:

  • You feel unhappy in your current work environment
  • You don’t feel challenged by the tasks you currently perform
  • You don’t have any opportunity to progress in your workplace

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to figure out your ‘why’ to reach the answer of ‘how’ you’re going to approach your career change.

2. Take a look at your skillset

So, you’ve decided a career change is for you, now you need to decide what your new career is going to be.

For those with a specific career change in mind, such as starting your own business, this is easy. But it’s still worth noting your skills so you can see where you may need to outsource or reach out for help to make your new career is a success!

And if changing career is something that’s still undefined then it’s time to make a list.

Make a note of all the skills that could help in a new career. For example, have you managed a team, do you work well under pressure, have you managed budgets? This can give you some direction on how you could use those skills in a different job.

You can also use this opportunity to note down what you like and dislike about your current job - a great way of finding out what you want (and don’t want) when starting a new career.

3. Do some learning

If you’re considering a radical career change, you’ll need to consider whether your current skillset is up to scratch.

Find out what qualifications you’ll need to pursue the role you want and make it your first priority to plan your education.

Whether you need to take short courses or even a full degree, you’ll then be able to plan for the future and start preparing for your job change. It’s also a great way of understanding timeframes when it comes to the new you!

4. Make connections

Networking is a great way to meet like-minded people as well as providing another opportunity to find out about new positions in industries you might like to start a new career in.

Building a professional network on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter might help open some doors for you too and can sometimes give you the heads-up on job vacancies before they’re even advertised.

5. Make it happen

The most important thing once you’ve decided you want a career change is to make it happen. We’re not suggesting you should rush into a new career here, but it can be easy to get stuck in an endless loop of analysis when trying to decide how to make your first move.

Once you’ve decided on a way forward that meets your goals for the future, you should put a plan in place, set some milestones, and take the first step.

Good luck!

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