How to go about changing your career

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Have you been thinking about changing your career?

If so, ask yourself why? Many of us are tempted from time to time to change career, but only a small number of people who change their career paths actually end up happier.

If your reasons are as follows, a career change is likely to be a step in the right direction for you:

  • You have a passion that you believe you can turn into a career
  • You no longer feel challenged and have no desire to reach the next level of your current career
  • You've changed your focus in life or are seeking a different work/life balance
  • You no longer enjoy the work you're doing and struggle to feel fulfilled by it

However, if it is because of any of the following then a career change is not going to help, you just need to change your job:

  • You don't connect with your colleagues
  • The environment at your current workplace makes you feel unhappy or uncomfortable
  • You feel dissatisfied and/or unchallenged by the tasks your current role requires
  • There are no opportunities for you to progress in your current workplace



If you know what it is that you want to do next, start by looking at your skills. Even if your new career is completely different to the job you're currently doing, you're sure to have plenty of transferrable skills.

Write down all your skills, including those you possess but don't get to shine in your current role - don’t forget to include your soft skills too.

Start highlighting the skills that you'll definitely want to use when you swap careers and think about what will help you stand out from the crowd too.

When beginning a new career, it's likely that you'll start at a lower position than you're used to, but your experience in a different job doesn't have to be a disadvantage. Are you used to work in a high-pressured environment? Have you managed a team before? Ask yourself, why you think you would be good at your new chosen career? This will help when working out what skills are needed. Be realistic, and go with your strengths.



While you're thinking about your current skillset, make sure you note down any obvious gaps too. Is there anything you know you'll definitely need to learn before starting your new career, or skills you'll know you need to master quickly to progress? Mark off anything that's high priority and create a plan of action. Talk to people in your current company or friends who do a similar role. If you are absolutely positive, get advice from your HR department and ask:

  • If it would be possible to shadow someone (offering to use a couple of days of your holiday time to show you are serious)
  • About courses etc. they think would be useful and/or could recommend
  • About the possibility of being considered for a role in that department next time they are hiring

If your current employer is not large enough or unable to accommodate your requests, then look at taking your current skills and experience to a large organisation who in time could help you make that transition.

There are endless ways to learn something new and a fantastic starting point is an online course. There are plenty of online courses, some free, some chargeable – if you are going to pay, check out the reviews before handing over your hard-earned pennies.

Also consider doing an apprenticeship, although the pennies are low, the experience could be invaluable.

Nothing beats real-world experience and securing the first opportunity can be the tough, so don’t hold back letting your friends and family know what you are looking to do, one of them may know someone who could give you that break. If your new skills set could be useful to a charity, why not offer them – it will certainly look good on your CV and also give you more confidence in your ability.


Once qualified or part-time qualified, it’s time to start looking for work, spend some time on your CV, drawing out the skills from your old career that are relevant to your new. You can find advice and tips on how to write the perfect CV and cover letter on our website


Good Luck!