How to Make a Career Change

by frank-stuart

The days of finishing study, getting a job and staying in the same career until retirement are pretty much over. Now, careers are much more mobile, and changing direction might happen several times during your working life.

But how do you know when it’s time to make such a change? What are the signs? And how do you go about it? Read on for a few tips regarding career changes.

Some signs a change may be due

  • You no longer enjoy your job, but rather find you consistently dread going there every day.
  • You feel that the demands of the job are incompatible with your personal or family needs.
  • Your passions and priorities have changed over time, reducing your enthusiasm for your current occupation.
  • Your occupation is in conflict with your personal ethics and standards.
  • You are finding your job too stressful and demanding and you are concerned this might lead to burnout.
  • You know the job so well that you are bored out of your brain!
  • You have a strong desire to be your own boss.
  • You have simply grown out of the job and feel a need to move on into something different and more challenging.

Some words of caution

Like most of us, you are likely going to feel some dissatisfaction or irritation in your occupation from time-to-time. It’s important to carefully consider what you are doing, and not have any knee-jerk reactions to situations that can be resolved.

If for instance you have always enjoyed your job, but there is now some distressing conflict at work, is there a way the issues can be sorted out without you having to leave? If you are bored, can you talk to your boss about adding more challenging tasks to your current position, and passing the easier ones to someone more junior? Is there a way you can incorporate your passions and interests into your current position?

How to make the change

If after careful consideration you recognise that it’s time to make a change, you might need to do a little research and soul-searching:

  • Think about what it is you love doing or are ‘fired-up’ about – even if it seems impossible to translate it into work.
  • Do a career quiz to uncover your likes and skills – the MyFuture ‘Mini-Career Explorer’ for instance.
  • Get some career change advice or career change ideas from a careers mentor or expert.
  • Think about the ways you can transfer your existing work and life skills to a new career.
  • Take up an evening or online course of study in your new field of endeavour.
  • Volunteer in the organisations you would like to work for.
  • If you want to be your own boss, the federal government’s small business website has many resources to guide you. Alternatively, look into buying a franchise that has an existing successful business model.

Sometimes it’s easier to stay where you are than make a change for the better. It can also be easy to be negative – telling yourself you are too old, too tired, or simply not qualified to enter into a new career. However, with a little wisdom, patience and planning, it is possible to make the transition to a more satisfying and suitable career choice.

Learn about study options to help you make a career change at ACPE >

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