There comes a time when you realize you have lost all the motivation and the will to live when you come to work. All that enthusiasm that you had at the beginning of your career has just evaporated, and all you have left is sheer boredom and clock-watching. You feel that you want a fresh challenge, but you also think that you can’t just go to a different company and do the same role. You want something different! You may even want to get out of the office environment altogether.
A career change looks very appealing, but the prospect of having to start all over again seems daunting. Almost risky. After all, what would your friends and family think? They might question why you’ll want to leave behind a well-paid career that you worked so hard to achieve over the years. Well, fear not, I and many others have successfully changed their careers. And so can you!
In this article, I share some top tips that I hope will help you make the transition.
1. Identify Your Strengths
When you come home from work, look in the mirror and take an honest look at yourself. Ask yourself what is it that you like to do? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Answering these questions can help you discover your real passion and point you in the right direction towards your ideal career path. But don’t ponder on this for too long, sometimes the only way to discover something that you do enjoy is to go out and experiment.
2. Get Proper Career Advice
When wanting to change career, the first thing many people do is look for another job outside of their sector. While there are many opportunities available, many are discouraged when they read through a job specification and find that the position they want to apply for requires experience. Even though experience is essential, your lack of knowledge shouldn’t deter you from attempting to change your career.
If you want to change career but do not know where to start, then my suggestion is to get some professional careers advice. Just Google “careers counselor” or “careers advice” along with the name of your location, and you’ll discover a host of career advisors in your area. Alternatively, you can visit websites like Prospects, Indeed and TotalJobs, which all have plenty of careers guidance. Most of these sites also have an extensive list of different job profiles for you to explore.
3. Do Some Voluntary Work
If experience is essential for you to make a career change, then there is no better way to gain experience through voluntary work.
There are many routes into voluntary work. Charities and not-for-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers in different areas, whether that may be helping out in balancing the books, organizing and managing events, or assisting in a local charity shop.
Voluntary work is recognized, and employers look for it, as it demonstrates a positive can-do attitude, dedication, and commitment.
4. Get Your CV Sorted
When it comes to changing your career, you need to get your CV in order. It is crucial that you tailor your CV for each application.
The standard advice that people impart to career changers is to adopt a skills-based CV which includes a detailed skills section that is followed by a briefer work experience section. Ensure you place your skills section at the very beginning of your CV, just after your information section. The purpose behind this is that you want to impress your prospective employers about your transferable skills in the first instance.
5. Invest in a Course
Another option that you can take to change your career is to enroll in a vocational course. Vocational courses are designed to help you gain knowledge and experience about a specific job area.
If you are working full-time, then there are plenty of vocational qualifications that you can complete through online distance learning, which enables you to study at your own time and at your own pace. This allows you to continue working your full-time job and study during the evenings and weekends.
6. Start a Side Business
If you are feeling brave and want to become your boss, then by all means, you can start a side business, while you’re working at your day job. Starting a business on the side mitigates a lot of the risks when beginning any entrepreneurial venture since you have the stability of your day job to support you as you grow your business.
And once your business has grown to the point where you are ready to take the plunge, you have successfully changed your career. Starting a side business is also a great way of gaining invaluable experience as well. Just so you know, when you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you have saved quite a bit of your income because the initial phase of running a business on a full-time basis will be challenging.
7. It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Career
I came across an article on Monster that shared a story of a 40-year-old who successfully changed his career. I was 31 years old when I changed my job, but it took me three years to get to where I am.
I started my career change by freelancing on the side. As my clientele was building, I decided to quit my job and go freelancing full-time back in 2015. But at that time, I struggled to maintain a steady income, so I had to go back to work in 2016. It wasn’t until 2017 when my freelancing began to pick up again, and then one of my clients offered me a full-time job in 2018. The point is, everyone’s journey is different. In my case, my initial attempt to change my career backfired, but I continued to persist. I hope my story and these tips that I have shared will encourage you to pursue your career change.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you considering changing your career? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.