How (and why) to make a career change

young interview

Perhaps your current job is no longer offering much in the way of a challenge, or you’ve climbed as high as you can in the organization?

Maybe you’re seeking an opportunity to do something good with your working hours and give back; you’ve had enough of a particularly arduous daily commute, or you’re simply looking to improve your and your family’s prospects?

A career change might be just what the doctor (and financial planner!) ordered – but it can be a daunting prospect too. We take a look at some of the most common reasons people seek out a career change, and how to best prepare yourself to take the plunge and set yourself up for success!

I’m looking for more money!

Unfortunately, annual raises are not quite what they used to be – and with growing responsibilities at home, rising inflation and cost of living, or the increasingly urgent need to start putting more away towards retirement, seeking out a better opportunity in a related field makes sense for a lot of workers. Start by looking at the opportunities currently out there and comparing that with what you’re making now.

Next look at it a little more laterally – could you earn a significantly higher salary if you passed a simple certification?

Would things look very different if you moved to a different state or city?

What qualifications or experience stand between you and the next step up the corporate ladder?

The more facts you have at your disposal, the clearer your options become. If you love the company you work for, you can still use your research to negotiate a bump in salary.

I like what I do… but not so much the people I work with

Every working environment brings us into contact with individuals we might ordinarily never have (or at least never chosen to have!) crossed paths with. There’s a big difference though between having to work with a few personalities that grate on your nerves and feeling like you’re the odd one out at a company whose values seem completely out of alignment with your own, or worse, makes you feel discriminated against.

Thankfully, there are now platforms available that can help job seekers find roles in businesses that actively promote a more inclusive and progressive company culture. Sites like LGBT Jobs, for example, are dedicated to helping candidates find employment at companies that embrace equality and diversity.

You may also want to come up with a list of companies in your region known for their forward-thinking policies, community involvement, or commitment to green initiatives, and get your CV in front of them.

I’m worried that my current job is going to become obsolete

Technology has made many aspects of our lives easier, but in some fields, it’s also rapidly taking over our jobs. Technology moves quickly, and if you’re employed in an industry where AI and automation are already being implemented, the time to act is sooner rather than later.

Take a look at the jobs which are least likely to be replaced by machines, and you’ll see a few skills in common. Roles which require creativity, big picture thinking, empathy and human interaction are prime examples. Now, how can you shift your career path more in this direction, or better your skills and qualifications in this area? A good example might be the case of a telemarketer, one of the fastest disappearing job titles of all. A good lateral move might be to investigate going more into the creative sales and marketing side of things, such as social media management.

Another aspect to consider, especially if you’re still relatively young (or young at heart and eager to learn!) is looking into jobs that didn’t even exist ten years ago. Developing your skills in these areas is an excellent way to make yourself highly employable for years to come.

I’ve grown bored with my current role

When you’ve been in the same role for several years, it’s natural that your job satisfaction is going to diminish. Seeking out a new challenge in a related or completely different field can have a huge impact on your life, both personally and professionally.

Take some time to think about your goals and identify the obstacles in achieving them. You might want to look at going back to school or enrolling in some online courses in industries or niches that interest you. If you can’t afford additional studies now, start putting together a plan on how you’re going to save up sufficient funds. Then automate those savings coming off your account each month so you don’t even have to think about it and start investing in yourself!