Practical Ways Of Changing Careers

We look at practical techniques and strategies for implementing career change. Highlights need for critical appraisal of what needs changing - a career or a job within an established career.

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Managing Career Change

Be sure you really want to change careers rather than change jobs within your current career!

Everything has a beginning and an end and the same applies to jobs as well as careers. But before we look into the practicalities of career change, you should be aware of a clear distinction between job satisfaction within a current job, as opposed to career satisfaction within a current career. A person may need to change their job but not necessarily their career.

Perhaps I Need To Change My Job Not My Career

A job can become mundane and uninspiring for various reasons. Perhaps you now find your job less challenging than before. Perhaps you have mastered all the necessary skills it entails and feel the need to move on. Or it could be that you feel undervalued by your boss. If you find it increasingly difficult to motivate yourself in your current job or worse still, if you are disillusioned, then perhaps it is time to seriously consider the merits of finding another suitable job. However, you must appraise your current situation within the context of your long term career plans. It may be that what you really need is another job within the same career or even with the same employer but in a different capacity, with different roles and new challenges. Here are a few of the type of considerations to ponder:

  • Is my work recognized adequately?
  • Am I being paid the right salary?
  • Does the boss really take my suggestions on board?
  • Have I achieved all the targets I set myself in this job?
  • Am I finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning?
  • Do I need a new setting?
  • Am I using all my skills and flair in this job?
Perhaps It Really Is Time To Change My Career

To critically appraise the merits of possible career change, you have to go back again to self introspection. If you have followed this section on employment tips, you will see that self introspection is the key to almost every aspect on careers.

People change over time. Views and beliefs can change as well as values and interests. By being in touch with yourself through a life long process of self introspection, you will be aware of any changes within yourself. So how does one know when it is time for career change? Again, through self analysis, by asking relevant and pertinant questions similar to those you initially considered way back when assessing potential careers (see our page on assessing careers).

If you find your priorites, ambitions or needs have changed, you will need to assess first whether these changes can still be adequately accommodated within your present career. If you feel you can no longer get adequate fulfilment and meaning in your life with these changes, then now is the time to begin researching and appraising other career alternatives.

Financial Cost Of Changing Career

One of the biggest obstacles people face when entering a completely different career is financial. Not only will you have to consider bearing the cost of possible retraining, you should also bear in mind having to accept a lower level of pay on entering your dream career compared to your previous salary.

The degree to which you may need to retrain and acquire relevant qualifications depend on how much transferable skills you can bring to your preferred career. However, there are ways of managing financial restrictions when changing your career. If you do need to study for a qualification, there are evening and distance courses you can undertake while retaining your current job. The internet is a rich source of information on virtually any subject, including online courses, tutorials and forums.

Be Sure Before You Leap

After researching and preparing for your dream job within your chosen career, you should ideally test the job before committing yourself totally, to see and experience for yourself the job at first hand; and appraise whether it really is right for you. An excellent way of doing this is through voluntary work, part-time, evening or weekend work.

People whose core personalities and strengths are in tune with their careers are more fulfilled and tend to excel more. Discover your ideal work style with the popular online 15 minute myDISCprofile  personality test.

managing career change within a changing labour market

Before embarking on career change, be sure to appraise your job first. It could be your job that needs changing

You cannot avoid self introspective analysis of your needs, no matter what juncture you find yourself

Take a personality test to help identify matching occupational fields

Check the financial cost of changing careers

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