10 Steps To Help You Successfully Change Careers
This Article Will Help You To Dive Into The Career Of Your Dreams
The average person will have had 12 and 15 jobs in their lifetimes.
Everything has changed over the last 40 years, people used to have a job for life. However, thanks to evolving markets, financial crises, the invention of the internet, and the general decline of vocational work – this is not the case anymore.
Some of the hangovers of “a job for life” still make a lot of people nervous about changing careers. This is not something to be worried about – changing careers can be an exciting moment that leads to more job satisfaction, better pay, and better mental health.
For many people, a career change could be life changing.
If you have decided it is time for a change then you have come to the right place. Today, we are going to talk you through the 10 steps to a successful career change.
Table of Contents
- Changing Careers
- 10 Steps To Help You Successfully Change Careers
- Benefits Of Changing Careers
In this article, we are going to talk about why changing careers can be the right choice for you and how to do it successfully.
There are many reasons why people are tempted to change careers. They may not be satisfied with their current jobs and are looking for a new challenge. They might have bad bosses. They might be moving to a new city or they might be looking for better pay.
Or it could be a combination of most of these reasons.
Let’s take a closer look at the process you might go through when choosing to change careers.
What Is A Career Change?
A career change is more than just changing your job – it is starting something completely different then what you are currently doing.
Typically a career change involves moving from one industry to another, but some people also consider it to be moving from one type of job to another completely different one.
For example, a career change could be moving from being a programmer to being a personal trainer. But it could also be moving from being a bookseller to being a publishing editor.
A career change will lead to big changes in your life.
Find Your “Why”
If you are thinking about changing careers, you need to work out why you want to make that change.
You might think you want more money so you jump from job to job and are never happy. When what you really wanted was to work for a company that was making a big difference in the world.
You find your “why”, you will have to understand how you are feeling and why. You might find it helpful to talk to friends or journal about how you are feeling.
When you know why you want to move, you will have an easier time looking for what you want to do.
According to this survey by Jobist, people change their jobs most commonly for the following reasons:
- Better Pay – 47%
- Too Stressful -39%
- Better Work-Life Balance – 37%
- Wanted a New Challenge – 25%
- No Longer Passionate About Field – 23%
But other reasons given were they were looking for jobs with more consistent schedules, that were kinder to their health, and that they wanted a job with a better boss.
Some people even choose to make career changes and become their own bosses.
Have you been stuck in your current job for a long time despite wanting to do something new? Then you might have a mindset issue.
Making the choice to move jobs can be a big one, but for many people, it is more than worth it.
Have the confidence to change careers
Don’t let your fear of something new hold you back from changing careers. Have confidence in yourself and your skills.
You need to go into the process knowing that you can successfully change careers and your next company will be very lucky to have you.
Change your negative mindset
When you are applying for jobs you must be positive.
Apply for all the jobs that sound interesting to you, not just the ones that you think you could get. You might be pleasantly surprised – the company might have been looking for someone just like you.
Create An Action Plan
To execute a successful career change, you will need to have a solid plan in place. You will find the rest of this article really helpful for you on that front.
You want to avoid rushing into a career change. It is a big choice and nothing to be scared of, but you want to take the time and care to make sure you are getting what you want out of the change.
If you have worked in one industry for a long time, you might have built your whole reputation around that. Your CV may be catered to that industry, your work clothes, and the types of social media you follow.
If you want to move into a new industry, then you will need to make some adjustments to how you present yourself.
If you are moving from a company that sells pottery to a role as a goldsmith, then you will want to take a deeper interest in the jewelry industry as a whole. You want your new employees to think of you as a goldsmith, not a pottery seller.
10 Steps To Help You Successfully Change Careers
Okay, so you have decided to switch careers. What do you do next?
Well, the last thing you want to do is quit your job as soon as you have made this decision. Switching to a new job isn’t always a quick process, so you want to make sure that you keep the money coming in while you are looking.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proactive when looking for a new role.
Below, you will find a 10-step guide to finding a new job and making a successful career change.
- Why Do You Want A Career Change?
Higher salary? More flexible hours? Travel?
There is no one right reason to leave your job. Most of us know when it is the right time for us to change careers. According to Profile Resourcing, the 10 biggest reasons people change careers are:
#1 – for better opportunities
#2 – for more flexibility
#3 – they feel underappreciated
#4 – lack of feedback from managers
#5 – for a better work culture
#6 – they weren’t right for the job
#7 – for a better physical workspace
#8 – not enough stability in the role/company
#9 – lack of growth in current role
#10 – for a more challenging role
If you are feeling like you want to change careers, we recommend narrowing down why you want to leave before moving on to the next step.
Working out exactly why you want to leave your current role, will help you to narrow down the new role you want to take on. If you don’t take the time to reflect, you may find yourself diving into another role that isn’t right for you.
- Are You Satisfied In Your Current Role?
How much do you feel that you have achieved at the end of each week?
We all work for different reasons.
For some people, making money is the main focus of their work. So, if they aren’t making enough money they will feel dissatisfied at work.
Other people like to build things at work, they like to see tangible progress. For example, city planners will feel most satisfied with their jobs when they put down a new road or see a new block of homes going up.
If you get satisfaction from helping others then you will find a job like teaching satisfying. But you will get frustrated if bureaucracy gets in the way of you doing your job.
If you want to change careers, we recommend that you take some time to think about what you have found satisfying for work in your past, and what you think you might find satisfying in the future.
If you are struggling with this, you could try taking a personality test. These will help you to work out what is most important to you and what in a new job you will find frustrating.
- Assess Your Interests, Values, And Skills
If you know you want to change careers but are not sure what you want to do next then it is time for some reflection.
You should start this reflection by thinking about the things that interest you the most.
For example, if you like books you might want to become a bookseller or work in publishing. If you are interested in learning then you might want to go into teaching or researching. If you like traveling then you might want to become a travel agent.
Then it is time to look at your personal values.
If you are someone who is passionate about the environment then you are not going to want to work in the oil industry. If you are passionate about education, then you might want to become a teacher. If making a difference in the world is more important to you than money then you are not going to want to be a daytrader.
Then finally, look at your skills.
If your answers to the questions above suggest that you might want to go into website design – but you don’t know how to code, then you might want to look for a different job or start setting aside the time to build up this new skill.
Be open when looking at what skills you have. If you are someone who is passionate about the environment but is really good at selling, then you might want to look into becoming a charity fundraiser – or to look for a company that sells environmentally friendly products.
- Check Out Job Opportunities
Once you have worked out the type of job you are looking for, it’s time to start looking at what is out there.
Some industries are really hard to get into, so you may need to take a lower level job to get a foot in the door. There is no shame in this, progress isn’t always linear.
You can set up job alerts on all the major job application websites for the roles you are looking for. You should also ask around in your personal network to see what is on offer.
- Talk To People With Experience In Your Desired Role/Career
Before you commit to one type of role too much, it is important to learn more about it.
One of the best ways to learn about a job is to ask the people who are currently doing it. This trick can help stop you from romanticizing a role too much only to end up disappointed later down the line. Think about what you would tell someone about your role if they asked you…
Thanks to linked in, it is really easy to find and contact people in the industry and ask them about their roles.
For example, you may think you really want to be a freelance writer. But after talking to someone who is currently working in that industry you discovered how much time freelancers have to spend on their taxes, how much time they spend on their own, and how inconsistent their paychecks are.
So, while you like the idea of the freedom that comes with freelancing, the other things that come along with it don’t appeal to you.
This is something you would never have learned without talking to someone who was already doing the role. Reaching out to someone is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of the role without doing it yourself.
- Research Role Requirements
The next step, once you have identified your ideal role and spoken to someone currently doing it to make sure it is something you really want to do… it is time to see what qualifications you need to do this job.
This is something you should always look up before applying for a job. Some employers won’t even look at your CV and application if you don’t have the right qualifications.
This is especially important if you want to move into a vocational industry or an industry that requires a specific set of skills and qualifications.
For example, you change to a career as a lawyer if you have not gone to law school.
- Upgrade Your Skills
If you do not have the right skills for the job that you want then it is better to get those skills before you apply for the role.
You should not lie about your skills on your CV as you will be quickly caught out and might end up losing your job very quickly.
Once you have worked out the skills and qualifications you need for the job, it is time to put in the hard work and learn these skills. It is important that you develop both hard and soft skills to make your CV more enticing.
You may need to go back to school, you could do this by taking on night classes or online classes.
If the skills are more general but require a lot of time, then you can find thousands of resources online, most of which are free.
Remember that your overall goal when applying for a job is to impress the employer. The more appropriate skills you have, the better you will look for the job.
If you want to work in a new industry then one of the best things you can do is to get to know people who are already in it.
As we mentioned earlier, talking to someone who is currently working in the role that you want will help you to gain a better understanding of the role. But it will also give a new point of contact in the industry.
If they hear of a new job they might let you know about it, or even suggest hiring you to their boss.
When you are looking for a new role, you should also make the most of your own personal network. Even if you don’t know anyone who works in the industry you want to move into, someone in your network might.
Being introduced by a mutual friend is a great way to make a natural industry connection that you may find useful in the long run. Or you could make a new friend.
The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find a role.
- Prepare For The Change
Now, before we go any further we want to talk about change.
Change is inevitable if you are looking to start a new job in a different industry. But change isn’t always bad and this is something that we all need to remember. A fear of change can make us less likely to take new risks and it can often make us doubt ourselves.
When you are looking for a new role, these are two things you really want to avoid. Employers will pick up on your lack of confidence, but more importantly, you will most likely sell yourself short.
Before you start applying for jobs it is important for you to prepare yourself for change.
When you feel worried about the change ahead of you, look back at the work you have done for each of these ten steps. Think about why you are looking for a new job. Think about having a more satisfying time at work. Think about your long-term career goals.
It is natural to be scared of change, but don’t let it hold you back.
- Start Applying!
Now, it is time to start applying for the jobs that have caught your interest.
You will need to put together a top-notch resume – you should make a tailored CV for each role that you are applying for.
Make sure to check whether the employer wants a cover letter with the application. And if they require a portfolio along with your CV.
If this goes well, you will start to be invited to job interviews.
Benefits Of Changing Careers
Before we leave you, we wanted to spend some time talking about the benefits of changing careers.
We understand that the act of changing careers can lead to a lot of change in one’s life and this can make many people nervous – this is only natural.
Therefore, we wanted to spend some time shining some light on the benefits you could see if you change careers. We will be looking at five benefits of changing careers:
- Increased satisfaction
- Decreased stress levels
- Increased career fulfillment
- More challenging work
- Access to new opportunities
These aren’t the only benefits you will see after changing careers but they are some of the most important ones.
What makes you feel satisfied at work?
Is it seeing those profits and numbers of sales rising year on year? Is it working hard with your co-workers to achieve your collective goals? Is it the thank you letter you get from the customers whose lives you improved? All of the above?
No matter your definition of workplace satisfaction, many of us are tempted to change careers because our current roles don’t offer us enough of it.
It takes most people a little experimentation to find out what they are looking for in a job and what kind of work makes them happy. This is understandable, most of us are forced to make our first career choices straight out of high school before we have even had any real workplace experience.
You should never feel like a failure because you didn’t find your perfect job the first time around. Sometimes it takes doing something you dislike to work out what you do like.
When you are looking to change careers, take a little time to think about what job satisfaction means to you and what roles could give it to you.
We are not trying to say that there are stress-free jobs out there. Every job will come with some form of stress. Without a little bit of stress, you will not find a job satisfying.
However, no job should be so stressful you lose sleep, get ill, have to work unpaid overtime or cut down on the amount of time you spend with your family.
No job should ask you to do too much work for too little money. Management should be there to support their employees and not to belittle them or to make them more stressed.
We have all worked stressful jobs at one point in our lives and understand how much of a negative impact it can have on our life.
You don’t have to be super excited to go to work every day, but you shouldn’t be dreading it.
If the above sounds familiar, then it might be time to look for a new role.
Again, changing careers does not guarantee you a stress-free life.
However, even small changes can make a huge difference. For example, if you are a people person and you switch from a work from home role to a role in a physical shop. You will notice the amount of stress you are experiencing is drastically reduced.
When you are thinking about changing careers, think about what stresses you in your current role. Are there jobs out there that will allow you to cut out many of these major sources of stress?
We spend at least 40 hours a week at our jobs, but many of us do much more. You may have decided that if you are going to dedicate that much of your week to something you want to enjoy it.
We feel the most fulfillment in life when we are supported by the people around us and we are being told we are doing a good job. If you are currently working in an environment that doesn’t nurture and celebrate you then you probably don’t feel very fulfilled.
A career change could change this.
When it comes to fulfillment, it is important to look for an environment that encourages growth and personal achievement in a healthy way. It is also important to look for an employer and team that can offer you what you need.
The fulfillment you find in your role may have more to do with the place that you are working in and the people you work with – rather than the work that you are doing.
If you are an incredibly self-motivated person, then you may find more fulfillment when you are working for yourself.
A New Challenge
When you do one job for a long time, it will stop challenging you.
Parts of your job that were once new and exciting are now habitual for you. Everything gets easier with practice, including our jobs. Not every habitual action is bad, if you were going and had to look up the scripts every single time you wanted to build anything, you would get very frustrated.
That being said, many jobs offer nothing but the same tasks over and over again, with very little variation. This can be mind-numbing, and exhausting, and it can reduce your job satisfaction.
If you are feeling like you are just going around in circles in your current job then you should consider a career change.
There are some jobs that offer a completely different set of challenges every day. Some people thrive in situations like this. For example, if you worked in law enforcement no day would be the same.
While other jobs are made up of similar tasks with rising goals and targets. A different group of people thrives in these types of roles. For example, if you worked in a clothing store, you would be selling the same clothes every day, but your goals and customers would never be the same.
When looking for a new role, think about the ways that you would like to be challenged and what roles could offer you that.
Some companies do not offer the opportunity for career advancement – no matter how good you are at your job or how hard you work.
This is why many people look for new career opportunities. They want to be rewarded for their hard work and to be challenged every day.
If you want to be a regional manager for a retail chain, you will never work your way up to that if you work for an independent store that only has one location. You might enjoy your work and like the company, but your goals may be bigger than the pond you are currently in.
When you are looking to make a career change, take time to think about what your short and long term goals are. Then you should be researching the companies you are applying for to make sure that they can offer you the progress you are looking for.
Remember, every company will tell you there is lots of room for career advancement in an interview, even when there isn’t. So do your own research.
Are you considering a career change?
There are many reasons why someone might want to change their career – maybe they are looking for a new challenge, more supportive coworkers, better pay, or just to do something new.
No matter your reason for moving, you will still benefit from taking the time to plan what you are going to do next before you quit your job. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
By taking the time to do the research into what you want to do you are more likely to get said job and be paid more to do it.