Job Hunting Tips: Career Change

Changing Career

A career change may be a very positive experience. As time goes by, you may feel the need to move on for a range of reasons. It is not unusual for people to enjoy fulfilling work in several entirely different roles during their career, and it is increasingly rare for people to stick with the same job for their whole working life.

Do you want to change your career?

When you fancy a change, the first thing to do is to think about where you are now and the exact reason why you want to change your career. For example, you may want to leave your job because of your boss, the working environment or the work itself. Now think about the parts of your role you enjoy and what motivates you. It is important not to rush into anything and to explore all options. Try the Changing Careers Questionnaire to help you make your decision, or check out A Career Change or iCover.org.uk for more advice.

Staying put

After you have weighted up the pros and cons and you may decide you would like to stay put. It is important to consider what you can do to make the most of your job. Perhaps you can take on additional responsibilities or projects that push you to develop new skills. Many employers have regular reviews for staff and these are the ideal opportunity to put yourself forward for new challenges. Otherwise, if you feel comfortable about it, you can speak to your manager about your development at any time and express your interest in taking on more responsibility.

Moving on

When you feel it is time for a change, you should think about what you would like to be different in your next role. It may be that you want a change of scenery and that a similar job with a different employer is all you need. More often, the itch for change comes when you need to do something more challenging and move upwards, not just sideways.

Sometimes moving on is not your own decision Redundancy is difficult, but may turn out to be the best thing that can happen to you. Seek free advice on all employment rights issues from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), or try your local Citizens Advice. If you are a member of a trade union, contact your representative for support and advice.

When you do move on, it is important to consider:

  • what kind of work do you want to do next – is it progress along the career path you are on or the pursuit of a new career?
  • where do your interests lie?
  • do you want to use your existing skills or develop new ones?
  • is your CV up to date? If not, get advice about CVs and covering letters.
  • do you need training to secure the job you want?
  • do you need to relocate and, if so, how far are you willing to move?
  • what are the disadvantages of changing jobs and are they balanced by the benefits?
  • how much money do you need to make?
  • where can you get help to research your new job and what resources do you need?
  • will you regret it if you don’t make the change?

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