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Tips and Advice for a Successful Career Change


There is a potentially endless list of careers that you could explore but you must look before you leap and research your proposed new career thoroughly.

Don’t pick a particular field because of the perceived glamour, money or because one of your friends works in it – carry out an assessment of opportunities first.  Talk to people with experience of that career or sector, study job ads, see if you can get some job shadowing or voluntary work to get a taste of what it’s really like. 

Changing career is a big step and you need to make sure it’s right for you before you give up your current job and invest time and money pursuing a new course.

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Think about your core skills set, and be honest about what transferable skills you have.  Do you have any of the competencies needed for your new career, or will you be starting completely from scratch?  How long will it take you to develop the skills you need to get somewhere in your new career? 

Look into what retraining you might need to do, how long this will take and what it will cost you.  Are training courses the only way to pick up these skills, or could you develop them on the job?

Be open minded about the options for changing your career; for example, do you need to get another job straightaway, or could you work for yourself or go freelance?  Perhaps you could negotiate working part-time in your current job while you retrain, to give yourself a head start.  Be creative in thinking about how you will achieve your career change.

It will take time for you to think these things through and change career.  Not only will you have the planning and research stage, you may also need to wait a few months while you save money to pay for a course, or subsidise a period of self-employment.  Also, be prepared for knockbacks and obstacles. 

You are probably very confident in your current role if you have been doing it for a while and know the ropes – when starting a new career, you will have a lot to learn, and it will take a while to become familiar with new concepts, processes, terminology and colleagues.  Be patient and persevere.

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