How to Manage a Successful Career Change | Inspire to Freedom

How to Manage a Successful Career Change

May 29, 2015 Jonny Lilley


If you were starting your career again, would you choose the same path? You might be interested to know that surprisingly few of us would. Studies show that 60% of employees would choose a different career if they could start again.

Some of these people are probably just idly curious about what their life would look like if they’d made use of different opportunities. After all, it can be fun to speculate on how things would have turned out if we’d made different decisions. But for many of those 60%, their career choice will be much more of a regret. They might be feeling unsatisfied, unfulfilled and under-appreciated in their current role.

Sound familiar?

Though it’s true that you can’t go back to beginning and start again, it is possible to make a change now. Whatever your job, age, situation or ambitions, there’s very little to stop you stepping away from one career and towards another. Around 30% of students on UK undergraduate degree courses are mature students: it really is never too late to learn a new trade.

Of course, considering a career change can be very scary! No matter how bored you are with your current job, you might decide that staying there is preferable to taking the risk on something new. There can also be some serious downsides to navigating a career change such as the need to retrain or taking a pay cut.

But if you’re serious about starting again, taking that leap could be very rewarding. A new career could renew your joie de vivre and bring new enjoyment to your life. It could fire you up to take on new challenges rather than staying put and counting the years till retirement.

Are you contemplating a career change? Here’s our advice for maximising your chances of a smooth transition:

Take your time

Though it can be temping to jump ship as soon as possible, try and take your time to consider what you really want to do next. At this stage it’s sensible to consider the practical implications:

  • What sort of career would value your skills and strengths most?
  • Which careers would fit in best around your lifestyle?
  • Which careers would offer you the best prospects?
  • Which careers would require the smallest amount of retraining?

Practicalities aside, don’t forget to think about the emotional aspects! What are your interests? What are your values? What do you really want to do?

Get work experience

When you hit on a career you think is right for you, find a way to try it out. You may be able to get some experience by volunteering within the industry or by shadowing a professional. This can be an excellent way to make sure your new career will live up to your expectations.

Make a financial plan

We mentioned earlier that switching careers can have downsides. Many of those downsides centre around finances. Before you embark on a big life-changing career switch, take the time to sit down and explore how the change is going to impact on your budget. Do you think you can handle it?

Speak to industry professionals

Wherever possible reach out to professionals in your target career for advice. Try and find out how valuable your existing experience will be, whether there are any vital qualifications you should do and what the best routes into the industry are.

Use professional support

Changing career will seem a whole lot less daunting if you have support on your side. A business or career coach could be just the ally you need to get you through the switch and out the other side. A coach will be able to help you make difficult decisions and look at the bigger picture.

Are you thinking seriously about making a change? We’re here to chat! Why not get in touch to find out if we could support you?

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