How To Find a New Career? – Expert Advise
When you feel stuck in your career, the first thing you do is find ways to either motivate yourself to work or have a change of career. If you are planning on changing careers, it might be more difficult to transition than you expected, but with the right guidance, it can be a smooth process.
In this guide, we will help you evaluate your options, think them through, and ultimately, learn how to find a new career.
Table of Contents
Questions To Ask Yourself
Before you start, it is important to think through these questions first.
1. Why Do You Need a Career Change?
Ask yourself why you need the change and think about whether it is truly necessary. Most of the time, people tend to change careers because:
- They feel undervalued in their current job
- They have worked in the same field for too long and feel stuck
- They feel a lack of interest and are underperforming
- There is restructuring in their company, forcing them to change their role
- They are not on good terms with their colleagues or managers
- A general need for change or feeling the urge to grow career-wise
2. Which Career and Role Interest You?
You might know what you want to do but have you thought about what your ideal job would entail in terms of your tasks on a day-to-day basis? These tasks might be appealing to you:
- Less administrative duties
- Interacting and working with people from different career backgrounds
- Less micromanaged roles
- Flexible working hours
The fact is, some of these tasks can be changed or arranged if you negotiate with your current manager. Certain employers are flexible and willing to make changes, allowing you to stay in your present role.
Compile a list of realistic and practical ideas to see if your manager or boss can make some adjustments, and that might save you from going down the whole path of changing your career.
3. Is a Career Change Worth It?
Do you need to change your career? List down what you do not like about your current work. Is it the job, working environment, your boss, or colleagues? Can something be done that would make your working life more enjoyable? Explore all the possible options.
This will help you determine if finding another job in the same sector or a different sector might solve the problem.
4. What Is Enticing About Your Ideal New Career?
Be sure that the new career is something you are interested in. The new career might be paying you a high paycheck, but in the long run, this may not be enough to keep you interested, and you might regret giving up your current career. Is your ideal new career something you would enjoy doing day in and day out in the long term?
5. Do You Have Any Values You Uphold?
This is something that many people do not think of right away, but the career path you choose might not be in line with your set values, creating a disconnect between your everyday activity and beliefs which can be very uncomfortable.
For instance, a person who is against alcohol consumption might be uncomfortable working for a company that brews alcoholic drinks, and this might make part of the work unacceptable. They might not realize this at first, since they were enticed by the ideal job position that they were looking for.
But over time, they may come to realize how working at the company goes against their values. Hence, it is crucial to list your values and be aware of them to see if they are in line with the job.
6. What Skills And Capabilities Do You Possess?
Think about your current skills. Are they transferable skills and capabilities that can be put to use in any field? Transferable skills can include organizational skills, detailed research work, etc.
7. Do You Want To Put Your Existing Skills And Capabilities Into Practice?
Do you want a complete change, or would you like a career that utilizes your existing skills? Can you use your current knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the new career? Speak to people in your field to help you gather some ideas to explore.
8. Are You Mentally Ready To Start From the Bottom Again?
Change is always difficult, and starting a new career can be hard. Think about the impact it will have on you both mentally as well as financially. It might take months to years to get your footing.
9. Is It a Choice You Will Regret Not Making?
If you feel the need to change careers and have considered all factors, then find out if it is really what you need before you regret not making the move years later. Do not put it on hold, and regret not making that step.
10. Consider Your Financial Situation
Calculate how much you will earn and if your earnings have to go lower, are you ready for the change? Can you still manage your current expenditure, or will you need to cut some costs/bills?
Changing Jobs Without Experience
Sometimes, you might want to change jobs to a different field where you have no previous experience. The hardest part is that in order to get most jobs, you need experience.
Switching jobs is not easy if you are starting a new career that considers experience a priority. However, even if you have no experience, this does not always have to be a barrier to your entry.
Some fields have a shortage of skills, such as construction, gas engineering, plumbing, and electrical work. The huge demand for workers gives those looking for jobs in this sector a higher chance of getting employed.
Skilled trades provide a great base for those who do not like routine work and enjoy solving problems and practical work.
Overall, if you are changing jobs without much experience, look out for industries that are currently experiencing a skills shortage, and it might increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.
Courses You Can Take
When starting a new career and searching for prospective new jobs, there are specific skills, qualifications, and training you might need to be considered for a position. Most professional and skilled jobs require some form of training. For example, accountants need ACA or ICAEW.
There are professional bodies that ensure that workers in various industries meet a minimum standard of expertise in the profession.
For example, in law, you need relevant qualifications, and solicitors must take the Legal Practice Course. Gas engineers must pass ACS in Gas. Research what is required in your chosen career to determine what training and qualifications you should have.
Training can either be part-time, full-time, online distance learning, or on-site, depending on the course. Some prospective employers even offer to do the training themselves, mostly in an apprenticeship role.
If you are set on changing careers, you will need to do your research and find out what courses you can take to set you on the right path to get qualified. Browse different job profiles to find out more about the different roles and their entry requirements.
Some careers might require that you pursue further study or professional training or a complete conversion. Sector-specific qualifications in fields like engineering, healthcare, IT, and teaching have specific entry requirements.
You can also attend open days and events for job changers to learn more about how to join the industry.
How To Prepare For a New Career?
1. Explore New Career Ideas
Make a list of the careers you are interested in, and brainstorm and explore each career choice. You can also discuss your skills, interests, and core values with professional contacts, family, and friends or meet a career consultant for professional advice.
2. Evaluate Your Skills, Interests, and Values
Consider going through your skills, interest, and values alongside the tasks at hand to determine if you can execute them effectively. Check your current role and what it entails to help you explore career options.
3. Evaluate How Content You Are in Your Current Position
Are you happy, comfortable, and fulfilled in your current position? Identify what makes you happy, excited, and depressed in your current job. This will help you know which adjustments to make when it is time to make the change.
4. Check Various Job Opportunities
Use search engines to go through various job opportunities within different industries to identify a few prospects. This will give you more information about different career choices that suit your interest.
5. Research Your Career Options
Conduct in-depth research about the different career options you have identified. You can also go further and contact people in those industries from places like your university alumni network or professional social media sites like LinkedIn.
Start by doing freelancing jobs or volunteering to acquire more skills and experience.
7. Improve Your Skills
Look out for opportunities that will help you gain new skills and experience in your current position. Offer to assist and execute tasks that will be beneficial in your new career, attend training and seminars to network with people already in the field you are interested in. This can be a boost in your transition to your new career.
8. Educate Yourself
Participate in academic activities to expand your background and improve your skills in your new career. Attend a crash course at a university, enroll in a course online or participate in seminars.
9. Apply For New Positions In Your Current Field
Start by applying for new positions in your current field that will give you the experience you need to change careers.
10. Participate In Job Shadow Training
Work alongside a professional in your chosen career and watch them execute their role. This practice will allow you to see how they do the job and give you first-hand information about the career you’re considering.
Finding a new career can be challenging but exciting at the same time. If you have decided that this is the right path for you, you will be heading into a new season of life and embarking on a brand-new career path full of invaluable opportunities you did not have before.
Just be sure to do your research and plan out your strategy beforehand to help the transition go smoothly.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.