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How to make a successful career change

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 29 Dec 2021

Career Change Hero Image

For anything to be successful, you need to know why you are doing it and what you want your end goal to be. If you think this is something you want, evaluate your current situation and use that to help you figure out what you want to be doing instead and how you will get there.

How much of a change do you want? Are you looking for a completely new career or are you wanting to stay in your industry and change sectors? They are both big steps but require slightly different thinking and goals. People seek change for a number of different reasons, so find the one that will motivate you.

What are the benefits of a career change?

If you’ve been feeling slightly down about your job for a while now, you may think that the only way to help feel better about work is to try something new. But is it your job or the company that is making you feel deflated? Be sure that you want to try something new, things are reversable and you don’t have to stick to a job once you get one, but you can waste time. So be sure a career change is exactly what you want!

Maybe your job goals or morals have changed? Are you working in a sector that you now feel is unethical to your new views? Or do you have new interests that you want to incorporate into your working life. We all want a career that satisfies us and makes us happy, so if you want it, now is the time to get it.

Some benefits of a career change can include better pay, better benefits, less stress, a better work-life balance and overall job satisfaction. So, which benefit are you after?

5 steps on how to make a career change

  1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction – What is it that you don’t enjoy about your job? Is it the actual role, the sector or you’re just tired of doing the same thing every day? Job satisfaction is important and if you think about the specific things that you don’t quite enjoy now, you can try and make sure the role you find in the future, doesn’t have these things! – There may always be somethings you don’t particularly enjoy about a job, but everyone can experience these from time to time.
  1. What do you want from a job?

We all have to have a job, so we may as well enjoy what we’re doing every day!

  • Is there something you have done in the past that you really enjoyed?
  • What aspects of your current role do you like?
  • What skills do you have that you may want to use more?

These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself when searching for a new career direction. Research your career options, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. No one can really answer this question apart from you, but you can turn to your network for guidance. Whether that be your professional or personal network, you might be able to find what you’re looking for through them.

  1. Do you want a brand-new career or to try a new sector?

Before looking into a completely different career path, try and consider alternative roles within your current industry or even your company. You can utilise the industry knowledge you already have to help your job search. If you’re an engineer that doesn’t want to work with programming anymore, try something like project management? There are options out there for you to stay in your industry and still use the skill set you have. There is also plenty of time to learn new skills to add to your CV. A career change can be about development, not just starting over.

Alternatively, if you feel like you want a completely new change in your work life, have a long think about what it is you want to be doing. If you’re thinking of becoming an engineer, what sector do you want and what kind of role are you looking for? If you are coming into a new career, there will always be transferable skills that you have, but you may have to start somewhere lower on the pay scale.

  1. What jobs do you think would make a good fit?

What kind of job do you think you’ll like? You can try having a look on different job sites and browsing through job descriptions to see what kind of things you would be doing in that role. Compare salaries, job titles and the daily duties of roles to get a feel of them and think about whether or not you would enjoy it.

Taking time before applying for roles can really allow you to understand what the role would entail and learn a bit more about the industry as well. If you only changing sector, make sure you are assessing what skills they require and what skills you already have.

  1. Take the time to learn

If you are really interested in an industry or sector, ensure that you are taking the time to research it properly. Read the news and check to see if there is anything happening right now. Take the time to find out more about projects happening in the aviation industry or the aerospace industry (which ever industry you are focusing on). There is always something happening in engineering, so a quick google search can pick up a lot of news.

Another good way to show your enthusiasm towards the industry, is to brush up on or learn a new skill. There are plenty of online courses you can take or even attending job fairs or job seminars can bring something new to light. Go back to the job description and find a skill employers want that you may not have. Take that as your first step and use it to drive motivation to start your career change and become happier in your role.