Changing your career isn’t something you should take lightly or do on a whim. For many people, it involves a complete change in what you’re doing, not just a minor tweak in responsibility. It will also more than likely affect the ones closest to you, this could be meaning to relocate, or even taking a pay cut initially, which will probably put a strain on finances.
It isn’t all doom and gloom however, as this guide will give you tips you need to change careers and make a success of it!
Above all else, if you’re going to switch careers, you need to find something you’re passionate about! Maybe you’re an Accountant who fixes computers in your spare time? Why not look at a career in IT? Whatever your passion, there’s a career out there you can fulfil it with! A lot of people choose to change careers because they’re disheartened, bored, or they haven’t seen the progression they hoped. So, when you change, it needs to reignite the fire that burns inside of you.
What makes you tick? What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What makes you want to change your career? If it’s money that motivates you, then looking for more lucrative careers is the path to take, but be warned: the more lucrative the career, the more competition there is for that industry! If you’re worried that your job might not exist in 5 – 10 years, then look for something in Computer Science maybe, or Robotics/AI.
You may want to change careers for a slower pace of life? Maybe you’re a stock broker who fancies starting up a poultry farm in the countryside. There are many reasons why you might want to change career, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reason, you.
Good with numbers? Why not switch careers to become an Accountant? Scared of heights? Probably shouldn’t retrain as a mountaineer! When switching careers, you should also consider the natural skillset you possess, and play to your strengths. If a certain skill comes naturally to you, and you can make a living out of it, then why not go for it! It makes the transition easier and will also make you much more likely to land that job in your new field.
Wonga, dosh, cheese, dough, bacon – may sound like a strange pizza recipe to some, but it’s time to talk money! For most, the desire to change careers stems from the desire to make more money. Quite often in fact, this may not be the case. If you are going into a new field and expect to start from the bottom, then you should also expect to take a cut in pay. This may however be temporary, and in most cases your pay could go way above even what you earned before you switched careers!
It could also be that money isn’t the main issue, maybe your mortgage is paid off, your kids have finally left home, and you just want to have the experience of trying something new, without the worry of financial instability hanging over you.
Work/life balance is an issue that more and more people are bothered about. Go back 100 years or so and the idea of working 10 hours in a factory, going home for dinner, then going to work a shift in a pub to make ends meet was commonplace. Nowadays more and more countries are adopting way to increase work/life balance in favour of the ‘life’ aspect.
Take Sweden for example, where six hour working days are prevalent across the nation. Not only does it give employees a chance to do more of what they love (see ‘Find something that gets you going’), it has shown that productivity vastly improves in the time people are in the office!
As many new jobs are in the digital stratosphere these days, this gives greater opportunity to work remotely or work from home, so consider these options when looking to change career.
There are many industries where you might be able to get a foot in the door without a formal qualification, but this often leads to scenarios like internships (read “volunteering” in most cases). Getting the right qualification to make yourself stand out, or even just to meet requirements, can be critical.
If a career in Cyber Security is what you want to switch to, then it is most likely the case that even for entry level roles, you will need some type of certification, just to prove that you have the fundamental knowledge.
Bottling your passions up and doing nothing about them will lead to feelings of despair, longing and constant sense of “what if?”. Talking to people close to you, whether that’s your immediate family, your friends, or even your current co-workers (ask them to keep it on the hush-hush from management) can help.
Maybe someone you know has changed careers, and can offer first hand advice? Or maybe they know someone in the industry you want to get into, and can put you in touch? Being open with those around you can lead to unexpected results, usually because they want you to be happy with what you’re doing every day!
Using tools such as LinkedIn can really boost your career chances. Growing your network, both online and offline, with people in the industry you want to change to, is a great way of finding opportunities. You may connect to someone who could offer you a job, or a contract for a project!
Getting to know people in your chosen industry is also a great way of getting advice – they may be able to advise on what courses to take, or what the best companies to work for are. So, get out there and build your network!
When looking to change careers, you need to ensure it has a future! Many moons ago, a lot of people worked as telephone switchboard operators, and at the time would have seen that as a secure job. Now however, that role is obsolete, and performed digitally, in an instant!
A study in 2017 by the McKinsey Global Institute states that 73 million jobs in the US could be lost to automation by 2030! On the flip side of this, Professor Martin Boehm of the IE Business School in Madrid estimates that 80% of all job roles in 2025 don’t even exist yet! This makes the perfect cocktail for those looking to change careers. Some of these changes may be forced, in order to move with the times, but some are enacted by a passion, which change will you make? You could start by creating a Career Development Plan!
You have a passion for something, you’ve read all the steps in our guide (hopefully), so what are you waiting for! If you can’t see any reason holding you back from changing careers, then take the leap and go for it. Once you make the change, you never know where you could end up.
Now you’ve read the guide, it’s time to look at some options! We’ve picked out some of our most popular careers, so take a look below and see if any of these careers takes your interest: