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Career Transitioning 101: How to Change Your Career

09 January 2019
Besma Whayeb
Career Transitioning 101: How to Change Your Career | In Demand by AdView

Stuck in a job that isn’t for you? Ready for a career change, but have no idea what else you could do – or where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

January is a popular time for people to start looking for a new job. With the New Year comes a new outlook, and that may not be a new job – it could be a whole new career path.

These days, changing career is easier than ever. Follow our guide to career transitioning and discover how to navigate yourself into a new industry.

What are the most common reasons for a career change?

When we look to past generations, jobs appeared more secure: many people stuck with one specialism, be it carpentry, accounting, or law. Nowadays, the average employee changes career between five to seven times over the course of their lifetime. That’s quite a lot! And it gives you the opportunity to not only change job, but to change the industry you work in too.

Before you start your career transition journey, it’s important to consider the reasons why you want to make a change. The most common reasons for changing career path include:

  • Change of life circumstances, such as having a baby or becoming a carer
  • Clashes with colleagues or management
  • Dreading each day of work
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Lack of interest in the subject or industry
  • No chance of promotion at current workplace
  • Restructure of hierarchy or business overall

Changes that are out of your control are usually a trigger for changing jobs. However, finding a new job that’s within the same industry, and possibly at the same level as your current position, is a lot easier than shifting careers.

When is the right time to change career?

If you feel like it’s time to change jobs, but also that you no longer want to work in a similar position or business, it is likely that a career transition would benefit you most.

January is a good time of year to start looking for a new job. It’s a big hiring season, with growing businesses starting to recruit for new staff. For more information, have a read of our guide to UK job trends and how this changes throughout the year.

Finally, when employers review candidates’ CVs, they often look for job loyalty. A candidate that has worked for the same workplaces for a number of years may fare better than one with many career changes. You may need to prepare an explanation if you have changed career more frequently than once every few years.

How do I know if I’m ready to change career?

In order to gauge whether you’re ready for a career transition, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why do you want to change jobs?

Is it for any of the reasons above? And will any of those reasons change in the foreseeable future?

2. Does that warrant a career change, or a new job on the same career path?

The grass may seem greener in a new career, but there are plenty of things you may not anticipate. Make sure you do your research into your desired field, and whatever you decide, be sure to check out our guide to finding a new job quickly and easily.

3. What kind of work do you want to do?

What type of job is desirable to you? List out all industries and careers that comes to mind, and slowly narrow them down as you go through the following questions…

4. What type of job are you looking for, e.g. part-time, full-time, freelance?

Is the job type more important to you than the position itself? Make sure you know what to prioritise, and what’s possible in your chosen jobs. For example, a part-time secretary may be foreseeable, but a freelance one not so much.

5. What are your transferable skills and capabilities?

What skills have your developed that you can take into a new job? Have a read of our list of the most sought-after transferable skills to get started.

6. Which of these skills do you want to use in your work?

This is a personal preference, but you may enjoy some of your skills more than others, and a new job will help you develop them further.

7. What industries would value these skills, and in a job type you want?

Refer back to your list of desired jobs, and check which of these align with your skills, and what employers are looking for.

8. What are your values?

In order to narrow down your job search further, defining what a “good job” means to you is important. You can then begin to research potential employers, and see if any of them fit what you’re looking for.

9. Are you prepared to retrain or start from the bottom?

This is one of the toughest questions for anyone looking to change career. Sometimes, starting from the bottom is the only way into a new industry. Are you prepared to retrain, or perhaps you have some form of experience or education that will boost your new career?

10. How much money do you need to make?

Another critical question is your desired salary. You can use our advanced job search tool to research possible jobs that pay enough, and rule out any others that don’t fit the bill.

Can I make a career change in my 30s?

Are you contemplating a career change in your 30s, 40s, or even 50s? Don’t worry – there’s no “expiration date” for employees, and numerous people change careers later in life.

The best way to approach a career change in your 30s or later is to assess what you’re worth, and what opportunities are available to you. If you’ve worked through the above set of 10 questions to gauge whether you’re ready for a career change, you should be prepared. By now, you’ll know what jobs are desirable to you, what skills you have to offer, and what sacrifices you may need to make.

For many people, changing careers in later life is only a problem when expectations are set too high. You may have worked in the same job, or the same industry, for over 10 years now. You may have reached a senior position that pays well, and isn’t worth risking for the sake of a fresh start. Only you can answer that.

However, the opportunity to change careers at any age is always out there, and we hope to help you make it happen! Register for job alerts by AdView to get started today.

How can I change career later in life?

In order to make a career transition later in life, you’ll need to assess what you’re looking for in a new job and new industry, and compare it to what you have worked for up until now.

There’s no age where employment isn’t possible, but it’s wise to gauge what it will take to find a new job, and especially if you’re changing your career drastically.

You may find that you will have to step a few rungs down the career ladder, and also prove yourself to potential employers. Be sure to identify transferable skills, previous experiences that are relevant to your new career, and write your cover letter and CV accordingly.

If you’re worried about your employability, there are a few steps you can take. In our master guide to finding a new job, we detailed three great ways to improve:

  1. Create professional social media accounts to connect with employers online
  2. Start a portfolio website showcasing your career highlights
  3. Take up relevant job training in your own time

These can all help kickstart your new job search, and help you to land yourself in a new career quicker than you might expect.

How do I make a career transition?

If you’ve worked through the above exercises, you should be ready to start your career transition. In order to start your career transition, you’ll have to identify:

  • Careers that appeal to you most
  • Job types you can comfortably work in
  • Realistic salary expectations
  • Transferable skills that you can demonstrate
  • Values at work

With this planning out of the way, now’s the time to start putting feelers out. Work through our guide to streamlining your job search to get started – it will help you to put the right processes in place so you can have relevant and new job openings come straight to you.

Alongside your job search, you should aim to connect with people. This can be done digitally, by building your personal brand, as well as through professional networking. Pro-tip: try connecting with both decision makers and fellow jobseekers, to gain both more opportunities and more experience.

Finally, be realistic with your job search timings. The average job hunt takes three weeks, and that’s for a straightforward change of position. Career transitioning takes a lot longer, as you will have to get your foot in the door, and be given the opportunity to justify why you’re the right candidate, despite having very different work experiences or education.

We recommend taking up training for your new job, to give yourself the best chance and show how committed you are to your new career. Best of luck!