How to Change Careers

Are you tired of the same job? Do you wish you’d taken a different career path? Then change your direction! In the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” So read on to discover the steps you need to take to change careers.

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Common reasons people change careers

There could be any number of reasons why people change careers, but one that features dominantly is overall job dissatisfaction. This can manifest from any of the following experiences:

  • Poor management style
  • Lack of work flexibility
  • Lack of work diversity
  • A change in your core values
  • A change in your goals
  • The need for a new challenge
  • Lack of promotional opportunities
  • Lack of job security
  • The unsafe or toxic work environment
  • Unsatisfactory compensation
  • Burnout
  • Too much stress
  • Too long a commute.

Any combination of the above could trigger a desire to change your career. But how can this change be done as painlessly as possible?

How to change careers

If it’s just a matter of changing jobs – with you remaining in the same field – then the task may not be as daunting. Changing your entire career, however, implies a change in the type of work you do.

The first step is to gain a new set of skills and a new knowledge base by getting some professional training and perhaps even some experience. Depending on the career you have chosen, the training will vary. Some jobs may require you to go back to college or university, while others may only require a certificate or diploma in your new field of study.

A good place to start your research on changing careers is online. Conduct a job search for the career you’d like to have. This will give you an idea of the number of jobs available and the type of education and experience that’s needed.

Networking is also an important task. True networking is different from what most people think. In essence, it’s all about people enjoying each other’s company – connecting and helping one another. According to Forbes, the most effective networkers build sincere relationships and give more than they get. Networking is a great way to gain new contacts and learn about your new career.

And don’t forget to update your CV or resume. Research new designs online and match these to ones used in your new field of study. Alternatively, you can always hire an expert to redo your resume for maximum impact.

Voices from the field

“I’ve found that when you’re looking to make a career jump, it’s important to keep negative Nancys at a distance. Surround yourself with people who share your passion and believe in your goals – whatever they might consist of right now. Looking back… I feel empowered and happy that I didn’t spend the limited hours I have on this planet doing something that wasn’t right for me. ” – A.O.

“Prior to my culinary journey, I was a management consultant in the fashion and luxury goods space, and a Columbia MBA. Despite the fact that my life looked great from the outside, I knew I was deeply unfulfilled on the inside. I yearned to create more, especially tangible things that would have a real impact on people’s lives.” – J.D.

“After five years, aged 26, I was pretty exhausted and fed up with long hours and excessive stress. I was ready for a change. I’ve always been creative and loved art, so I revisited these skills. After trying a few different things, I came up with the idea of illustrating greeting cards. I left my job, moved back to the countryside and used wildlife as the basis for my range. It took off beyond what I could have hoped for and before long we had hundreds of stockists across the UK.” – H.D.

“Working in the city compromised my values, lifestyle, and happiness because I was working long and rigid hours and had no time to be creative. I’ve always had a creative side and made my own clothes from an early age. I made bags as a hobby for years on the side before deciding to take the plunge in January 2016.” – B.C.

“The transition wasn’t easy. I was teaching, getting paid to perform and rehearsing with my crew. From a dance perspective, I was doing brilliantly but I wasn’t happy. I wanted to be an author and even if I had to stay up all night, I made sure I worked on my book. After publishing my first book, I co-founded a publishing house called Hashtag Press in 2016. In our first year, we published five books and are looking to double that in 2018.” – A.B.

Transition to your new career today!

For most career changes, you’ll need to get additional training. Transitioning from one career to another while working full-time can be a real challenge. The International Career Institute understands this and offers a wide variety of flexible training packages, ranging from business management and hospitality to IT and arts training. Check out our range of courses for more information.

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Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.