5 steps to making a career change

Tue 1 Dec 2020

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average professional changes jobs 10 to 15 times during their career. So if you’re in a job that isn’t giving you any satisfaction and feeling like it’s time for a change, you’re not alone. And there’s no need to feel stuck – making a career change is easier than you may think, and could be just your ticket to a satisfying and rewarding career.

Here are 5 steps to making a career change:

1. Ask yourself ‘why?’

There are a lot of people out there who say they hate their jobs or feel like their jobs have run past their best-before date. But that’s where their thought process ends. Rather than focussing on the negatives of your current situation, you need to be clear on why you want to make a career change before you take the leap.

Is it because you feel you’re not getting paid enough? Is it because you feel you can’t grow professionally within your current organisation? In some cases, having an honest discussion with your manager or speaking to a recruitment agency about other opportunities within your current industry might help.

But in other cases, if your dissatisfaction is coming from your current career choice, making a career change could be the perfect solution. Think about questions like: Why do I want a new career? How do I think this new career will make my life better?

2. Ask yourself ‘what?’

Now that you’ve figured out ‘why’ you want a career change, it’s time to ask yourself ‘what’ your new career will look like. Which industry do you want to work in? And in which position? Thinking about the ‘what’ isn’t just considering what you’re passionate about.

Sure, it’s important to be passionate about the new career you want to pursue. But what’s also important is how you’ll be able to get there. Do you already have skills, professional contacts, and a professional brand/reputation that can help you make the successful transition to your chosen new career?

Being able to leverage these existing tools will help to ensure your success and let you put the career capital you’ve built over the years to good use in new and exciting ways.

3. Do your research

Look into the new career you want to move into. Are you lacking any knowledge or skills you need to be successful in getting a job within your chosen career? Are there any qualifications that you need?

Identify any gaps you might need to fill to help make your career change successful. Then, think about the time, money and effort you’ll need to fill those gaps. Will you be willing and able to invest in this career change without compromising too much of your life? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you can move on to the next step.

4. Set your action plan

Now that you know you want to make a career change, what career you want to move into, and what it will take to get there, it’s time to set out an action plan. If you identified any knowledge and/or skill gaps between you and your new career, look into what courses are available to help you fill those gaps.

Many courses allow you to study completely online, so you don’t need to sacrifice your income to be able to fill the gaps you need to start your new career. It’s also a good time to think about what you need to finish up in your current job.

You might not have your heart in it anymore, but performing your current role to your best potential will help ensure you get a good reference, keep your good professional reputation, and give you a sense of achievement. Make a list of all the tasks that will get you to your new career, including timelines and milestones.

5. Market yourself

Now that your action plan is in motion, it’s time to start marketing yourself to potential employers. If you’re studying towards a qualification that will get you into your new career, for example, updating your LinkedIn profile is a great way to show potential employers that while you might not have the required skills/qualifications right now, you’re working towards them.

Growing your global professional network to include professionals working within the industry you want to move into and following organisations that you’re interested in working for will also help keep you closely connected to any job opportunities that may become available within your chosen new career.

Falmouth Flexible offers a range of 100% online masters courses that can help you upskill, grow your global professional network, and kickstart your new career.

Online Learning, Blog

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