Do you often find yourself dreaming at your desk of being somewhere new? Dread the alarm sound on a Monday morning? A career change could be exactly what you need. However, preparing for a career change can be a daunting experience, effectively leaving everything behind and starting fresh somewhere new. Sometimes this change can be necessary, particularly if there is no room to grow in your current job or internal relationships are leaving you uncomfortable.

We take you through some ways to effectively prepare for your career change;

What is prompting the change?

There are many reasons that can factor into needing a change, but it’s important to break down these reasons and decide if they can be solved in your current role;

  • Relationships; you needn’t be best friends with everyone in the workspace to enjoy your job but working in close relation to a conflicting personality can you leave feeling emotionally drained which in turn negatively affects your work ability.
  • The weight of the workload; Are you under pressure all the time? Need an extra pair of hands that aren’t available, or possibly the opposite? There’s not enough work to complete, leaving you frustrated? The workload is the basis of our day and inefficiently managed over a long period of time is certain to promote negativity.
  • Lifestyle/Commute; Your lifestyle may have become incompatible with your current job; maybe you need to be closer to home for your pets, children or if you have other commitments. Or maybe you just wish to spend less time in traffic going to and from your work.
  • End of the Line; Have you gone as far as you can in your current career, but you haven’t found fulfillment? Some job paths, unfortunately, don’t have the climb you are expecting, or the company may be too small to offer regular advancement.

Changing your job over changing your career

Changing your career typically means starting again. Unless your current skills are transferable with enough relevant experience in your target industry. You will need to start from the bottom and work your way back up the ladder. Sometimes it may be more suitable to change your job role, staying in the same industry and moving sideways into a similar role or moving to a larger company.

If your current industry doesn’t offer enough growth or the local companies don’t have the advancement you prefer, a change in your career holds more benefit.

Preparing to change

You’ve decided to change your career, but you aren’t quite at the point where you can start applying. That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare. Start connecting with people in the industry you’d like to join, seek out short courses that you can complete in preparation – are there any accreditations that are recognized and valued that you can obtain? These are all positive steps you can take prior to sending out those first job applications.

Selling your skills and capabilities

When you are building your CV to change careers, it’s important to include the information that will be relevant to your chosen employment. Detail your transferable skills and capabilities and within the cover letter; briefly explain how your past experiences can apply to the new role. Common transferable skills include;

  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Time Management

Picking the right time

Sometimes there is never a good time to make a significant life change, but without taking the first step, you can often feel trapped in your circumstances and never reach true job fulfillment. As long as you take your time and refrain from making drastic decisions, you can make a career change with little complication.

  • Never quit a job without having a new one lined up; this should go without saying – bills don’t go away just because you don’t have a job. If you’ve got an offer, make sure you have seen and signed the acceptance letter before handing in the notice to your old job.
  • Having a safety net; considering up to a third of British workers live paycheck to paycheck it, can be difficult to get together a safety net. Having a small amount put aside to cover a month or two worth of bills can give you a bit of breathing room should your new role not work out.

Finding the right place

With so many companies and recruitment agencies available, sometimes it’s not obvious where to look when searching for a new job or career. Job notice boards can offer a plethora of opportunity but often don’t hold all the information for the job in question. While applying to individual companies can be off-putting and demotivating if you regularly get passed over for a more experienced candidate.

It is important to find a recruitment agency that caters to the industry you are interested in is a more efficient way of finding available employment. Agents will be knowledgeable on the types of roles available and how well you are suited to them. They should also be able to offer further advice on the types of skills and capabilities their client is looking for.

Attitude to employment has evolved over the years with the youngest generations in the workforce putting a higher value on their work-life balance and commonly quoted as not “living to work” but “working to live”. This change in outlook is adjusting the way employers treat their employees, and it’s slowly spreading across the West. With more companies offering better work-life balances and support including “pawternity leave” and flexible working times.

While changing your career is certainly not an easy task, it’s an avenue that should be considered if you are unsatisfied with your current job. With the average retirement age in the UK steadily increasing and full-time hours averaging 40 hours a week – don’t we deserve to be happy in our employment?

About the Author: 

Maise Hamilton is a freelance professional with a keen interest in technology and the online world. In her spare time, she enjoys reading her favorite blogs and online magazines and catching up on her favorite TV shows.