Skip links

Considering a Career Change But Not Sure Where To Start?

Photo by cottonbro

With how things evolve rapidly across industries, a change in career is no longer a stigma. As you gain experience and dive deeper into an industry, you may realize that your job doesn’t suit you anymore. 

People change careers for many reasons. This could include a change in preferences, new realizations about yourself and the role, new career goals or new demands in the field. Know that these are all valid reasons for changing careers. 

Joblist reported that the majority of people who change careers do it for better pay, less stress and better work-life balance. Additionally, it also found that those who made the switch were happier, more satisfied and felt more fulfilled.

Here are five steps you can take towards changing your career.


Evaluate skills, experiences, interests and values

Before you embark on anything, it is good to assess your current state. Are you making an emotional decision or a rational one? Is the desire to change careers fleeting or based on a larger issue? Knowing the motivation behind wanting to make the switch can help you chart the right way forward. 

Next, evaluate your current skills, experience, knowledge, interests and values. Be honest with yourself about what you are good at, what you can offer and what you enjoy doing. This will ensure that your next role will result in higher career satisfaction for you.

After assessing your current state, you can begin imagining your future. What would your dream job look like? How would an ideal work culture be like for you? What do you value: work-life balance, flexible hours, or structured work environment? What is the salary range you are comfortable with and where do you aim to be?

There are free tools online that can help you explore a career that you’d enjoy. Find out more here.


Obtain new skills

Once you know where you stand and where you would like to be, you are able to envision a clear path. Next, check your skills gap and see what are the skills required to get you where you want to be. 

Consider where you can learn these new skills. Should you do an internship, take a course or consult a career coach? You can use this free tool to do a skills gap analysis on your current role and see what it takes to hold a position.

After identifying what skills you need, plan how you are going to obtain them to meet your desired job requirements.


Assess network

Beyond job skills, social capital plays an important part in a career switch. Think about your friends, families, ex-colleagues or any acquaintances that are working in your desired industry. Chat with them to find out more about the industry and the role. 

This could also mean speaking to your immediate superior who is supposed to care for your wellbeing at work. He or she could help you attain new skills or transfer you to a different department to learn more.

You could ask if there are any suitable openings for you. If they don’t, at least they’ll consider you should there be one in the future. 

Keeping your network wide is wise. This does not only apply in a career change, but for overall career advancement. You never know when opportunity knocks on your door. 


Gain Experience

Know that with career transitions, chances are that you have to begin from the bottom. However, this largely depends on your current skills and how vastly different the switch is. This means that you will have to invest time to build the career you want. 

Sometimes, gaining experience can mean doing an internship, taking on part time stints, volunteering, freelancing, or shadowing a colleague. 

Be patient with yourself. Changing careers takes time and grit. Allow yourself to make mistakes, persevere and know that your effort will produce results in time. 

Leave a comment