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Making a Career Change Successfully

Updated: May 10

Thinking about changing jobs can be exciting but it's also a big move in life. In this article, we'll look at some important things to think about before making a career change, and some helpful tips on how to maximize your success.


Things to Think About When Changing Careers

Changing careers will affect many parts of your life. It can take time, hard work, and money to make a successful change. So, to make sure you are on the right path, here are some things to think about:​

Why Do You Want to Change Jobs?

What are the main reasons you want to make a career change? What is it about your current job that does not fit well in your life? Knowing what the problems are will help you choose a future job that makes you happy. If you could be happy in your current job with some changes, think about asking your boss for them before you decide to leave.


What is Important to You in a Job?

Think about what's important to you, what you love to do, and what you want in the future. You will probably be much happier with your job if it matches your personal goals and values. Happy motivated people improve in their jobs and take on more challenging roles over time. It's important to think about how long you could work in a new role just because of a higher salary, if it does not match your values.


How Will Your Finances Change?

Making a career change might mean you earn more or less money for some time, or even forever. Are there new expenses that will come with this new job? Can you keep your lifestyle the same, or will you need to make changes because of your new income? It's also helpful to think about how long any changes would last. It can be a good investment to take a lower salary for 2 years while you are in training so that you can earn much more after that time.


Do You Need Any Training?

Changing jobs might mean you need to learn new things. Research the industry you are interested in and see what training is needed. Find out how long this will take and how much it might cost, and ask then yourself:

  • Do you have time to train and work full-time?

  • Is the new career good enough for you to spend this time and money on training?

  • Do you need to reduce your working hours to train, or are there any jobs you could apply for that will train you while you work?

What is The Future Like for This Industry?

It's important to look for information about how 'healthy' your new industry or field will be in the future, and how difficult it will be for you to find a good job. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are thinking about the future of your career:

  • How many candidates apply for each job in this area?

  • Is this a growing industry or are there signs that it might be getting smaller?

  • Are salaries in this industry stable or do they change over time?

  • Is this field so new that there is no information about the future, and can you accept that risk?

  • Are employers looking for higher qualifications or more experience in this field over time?

A growing and healthy industry and a stable job market can make your career change smoother and more successful.


Tips for a Successful Career Change

Follow these tips to increase your chances of success as you begin your career change journey.


Identify Your Transferable Skills

Showing how your transferable skills match the requirements of a new job can greatly increase your chances of getting an interview. Begin by finding out which transferable skills your industry is looking for. Then highlight any matching transferable skills you have when you apply for jobs and have interviews. Be clear about your skills and don't be shy!


Here are some articles to help you think about the transferable skills your industry is looking for:

Improve your Skills

Job applicants who take responsibility for improving their skills are very desirable to employers. Learn which in-demand skills you can improve to match the requirements of the career you want. You might also find seminars and workshops local to you that can help you upskill.


Here are some resources to help you improve your skillset:

Freelance or Take Part-time/Project-based Roles

"Try before you buy!" You can try the job you want by doing freelance projects or getting a part-time job. You will experience working in your new field, meet people in the industry, and begin building a history of work experience in your chosen career. This is a low-risk option because you can stay in your current position until you are sure you want to make the change.


Links for freelancing advice and opportunities:


Wrap Up

Making a career move is a big life change. Before you commit to moving think about how it will affect your life, if it will make you happy, and what you need to do to get there. When you have identified your transferable skills, and your personal values, you can target the job you want directly with a high-impact application. Take it one step at a time, you've got this!


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