What you need to know about changing your career

There are many reasons why you might want to change your career. From a lack of work-life balance to a search for a higher salary, there is a multitude of reasons why you might be looking to leap into an entirely new profession.

Wherever you want to go, it’s vital that you know what you need to do in order to achieve your goal of making a successful career change.

Advice for career changers 

In this article, we will look at what you really need to know before changing careers.

Do your research thoroughly - This is perhaps the most important tip of all as you need to fully understand what your new career will entail. Thorough research will allow you to find out what you need to do in order to apply for jobs in your new field and should ideally enable you to see if the career is indeed your best possible fit. One way of doing this is to browse job adverts as they appear online. Cutting and pasting different person specification requirements into a word document can help you to get a really clear picture of what you need to do in order to get into that industry. Consider what you want in terms of the kind of lifestyle you want and whether or not a new role would get you there. At the research stage, you should be gathering as much information as possible about your desired career.

Formulate a plan - You may be unhappy in your current job, but this is not an excuse to make any rash decisions that you may later regret. When it comes to career change planning is key. Perhaps your new career will require you to go back to university or college. It might be the case that changing careers will mean starting from the bottom again within an entry-level role. If your career change will mean an initial drop in salary, ask yourself how you will afford this. Having a concrete plan complete with measurable, achievable goals along the way is the best way to map out your new career journey.

Get the necessary training - Once you have done your research and formulated a plan you should know whether or not you will be required to undertake additional training in order to secure your new role. If it’s not clear exactly which course you should take, have a look at some of the certified training courses we offer and consider whether or not a new qualification will be helpful in gaining a new position. It can be difficult to juggle studying for a professional qualification with the demands of work and family life so, when possible, select a course which will allow you to study flexibly. Furthermore, depending on your financial situation it can be helpful to choose a course that offers flexible finance options to ensure that you are not overstretched financially while studying for your career change. Learn how you can study while working

Expand and grow your network - One excellent way of finding out more about your desired role is to network with individuals who have already established a career in that sector. This is how you can get honest feedback about the role in both its good and bad points. LinkedIn can be a great way to expand your professional network and also allows you to see how others got into their current roles. Networking can only serve you well as you go forward in your new career.

Gain experience - Although it can be tricky to gain relevant experience when your desired role is in a different industry from your current position, keep an open mind. If you can be open with your manager, why not ask if you could gain work experience in another department within your organisation. However, if your boss is not accommodating you may have to use your annual leave in order to gain work experience in your chosen field. Another way of gaining experience is by volunteering in your spare time. For example, if you are looking to become a classroom assistant, you may want to start getting experience by volunteering at a school breakfast or after school club. Any experience that you can gain will be useful in showing your dedication to securing a role in your desired industry.

Making the jump - At some point, your ambition will turn from a dream into a reality when you start to apply for jobs in your chosen field. This can be exciting and scary in equal measures. The only way to get used to the fear factor of applying for new jobs is to get familiar with the idea that you will almost certainly get a few rejections before you are eventually successful in securing a new role. Update your CV to fit your desired role and use your cover letter as an opportunity to prove your passion and to show all the experience you have gained in order to qualify yourself for the new position. Before long you will have successfully made the leap into your dream role. Learn how you can study for a new career while working

Consider the e-Careers Job Academywhich provides the option to study for a new and exciting career in your own time, and upon completion, our team will place you in a new job.