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4 steps to changing careers

26th July 2019

If you’re stuck in a job you don’t like and haven’t yet found your calling – then read on. This article just might be what you’re looking for – some inspiration if you will!

It can be all too easy to continue to receive that consistent pay check month after month, but is that really enough? Job satisfaction is just as important as your salary, which most people fail to recognise.

Let me ask you a few questions to get the ball rolling:

Looking for a career change?

Not sure how to do it?

Is it even possible?

If these questions sound all too familiar, then read on as we discover the 4 steps to changing careers…

1. What do you want to do?

First and foremost, you need to figure out what you really want to do. Here are just a few reasons why you might be questioning your current career:

  • I have little or no chance of promotion
  • The pay just isn’t enough
  • The hours are too much
  • The hours are unsociable
  • I get no job satisfaction (maybe the new title of a Rolling Stone’s song)

Whatever the reason you may have for wanting to change career – you are not alone. But the first thing you need to do is work out what you actually want to do. If you have a specific role in mind, then great. You’ve saved yourself a lot of time. But, if you have a particular industry that floats your boat, like health care or sales, then grab a pen and paper.

Your next step is to list all the things you’d like to do. For instance, you may want to care for or help people. Jot that down and then begin to list things underneath which are more specific. Would you like to care for the elderly? How about a career in rehabilitation for drug or alcohol addiction?

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You can now start to see that your vague career choice is slowly beginning to take shape. Once you’ve narrowed down your dream career it’s now time to research if it’s possible.

2. Do your research

You need to be realistic with your new found chosen career, and make sure it’s even possible. Going from accountant to playing on the PGA golf tour is probably not going to happen. So we would certainly advise not giving up on your current job just yet. Approach a career change with great optimism, but also with a sensible mind.

So now we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, it’s time to talk research. So before you jump ship and lose that consistent pay check, you need to look into how you would change careers.

  • What qualifications would you need?
  • Is experience essential?
  • How would you gain experience?
  • Is there a lengthy training period?
  • What jobs are available near me?

If you are able to comfortably answer and find solutions to these questions, you may be one step closer to your ideal career.

A career change is never easy, and with so many other qualified candidates with lots of experience already ahead of you, it can seem like an impossible task. But if you’re confident that you can gain the qualifications and skills required, then go for it.

Find out how you would be able to study and get what you need, and also look into similar positions. Gaining experience in a role may be sought from other places. You may be able to get just what you need from a lower entry position to begin climbing the ladder.

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Finally, it may be possible to study and learn a new skill whilst in your current position. This will undoubtedly mean extra hours on top of your current schedule, but think about how important this is to you. Do you really want to be in the same career in five years time? If the answer is no, then get reading and researching!

Before you apply for any role you should also research the company. Find out what makes them tick so you can write a better CV.

3. Focus on what you can do – not what you can’t

It will be very easy during your career change to worry about what you can’t do. But that’s the wrong approach to take. Instead, focus upon the skills, qualifications and experience you already have and see if there is anything relatable.

You have to make your current skill set more generic, and detract from the specifics. There may be lots of comparison with what you’ve already accomplished to your new chosen career. You just have to delve deeper and find them!

Having a proven track record is a huge plus, and is a very attractive trait to an employer. Someone who has tasted success for many years has a great chance of doing so with anything else. Experience can often trump many other aspects when the hiring manager is looking to hire, so don’t underestimate what you’ve achieved so far.

4. Be 100% happy it’s the right decision

Before you jump ship you need to do some hard thinking. Is this really what you want?

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It could be that you are not unhappy with your career, and it’s actually just where you work that’s getting you down. Maybe there is someone at work that you don’t get along with, or your manager is making things difficult.

Take your time and consider if this really is the right thing for you. You could maybe even consider raising any issues you have with your boss. If all else fails and you simply can’t continue it would be better to speak openly with the company and air any grievances you might have.

As long as you approach this with a positive attitude and a potential solution, you may be surprised at the outcome. You may walk away from the meeting feeling great, and your problems could be solved. Maybe a career change wasn’t needed after all. Or, you may walk away feeling that nothing has changed, and that a career switch may be inevitable.

No matter what is getting you down, remember that you’re entitled to job satisfaction. You shouldn’t have to wake up every morning feeling like there’s nothing you can do to fix the situation. Get online and start reading about how you can train for your perfect career. It will take time, lots of effort, blood sweat and tears; but it will be worth it in the end…

If you still feel like you have no idea how to change career, here’s another great article you should read – How To Change Career When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing.

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