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Tips For Changing Your Career

Oct. 6, 2021, 9:33 a.m.
Feeling unhappy, dissatisfied and uncomfortable in your current job is completely normal, and a lot of people go through these feelings at some point in their career. If you've considered a career change, but not sure where to start; our team have shared their top tips below:

1. Understand the reason for wanting to change

Deciding you want to change your career choice often stems from a level of unhappiness, dissatisfaction within your current role. It’s important to keep in mind that not every role you commit to is going to be the perfect role for you, and most people in their lifetime will experience feeling unhappy with their current job.

Developing an understanding of WHY you want to change is the biggest part of the process. We recommend reflecting on the pro’s and con’s of the role you’re in, and consider putting your happiness first. A few reasons why you might be feeling uncomfortable with your current role could be:

- The job requirements and commitments aren’t compatible with your lifestyle, or stop you doing things you enjoy outside of work. This could be having long working hours, so you can’t spend time with your family.
- You no longer are passionate about the field of work you’re in. This often leads to feeling unfulfilled and unmotivated to achieve in your role.
- You have outgrown your potential in this field of work. This can often happen at a higher level of work, where the progression route has come to its maximum and you’re looking for a new challenge.

2. Complete a self assessment and determine your new career choice

In order to make sure your next career choice is compatible, we suggest completing a self assessment on yourself to determine what role will suit your personality, skills, passions and end goals.

You can start by taking a Career Quiz, this will often suggest industries or job roles that it thinks would be a good match depending on the answers you give.

Another suggestion would be to complete a SWOT analysis on yourself. To do this, draw a grid with 4 sections and label them Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Complete the grid based on you moving forward with your career. For example, a strength of yours could be your communication skills, and a threat could be that new roles in this field may mean you take a salary decrease.

If you’re struggling to find new career options, you can chat with our Careers Team, via our Careers Hub, to seek 1 to 1 support. Visit:

3. Complete research and plan your next steps

Before committing to your next role, it is key that you complete extensive research on potential jobs that you could apply for. Within this research phase, you want to make sure there are current opportunities in the market, as well as ensuring you have the relevant skills, training and experience to be qualified and considered by employers.

A great tool to explore job roles is the National Careers Service - Job Profiles website. If you type in a role or industry that you believe is a good fit, you can then find information on all aspects of the role.

At this point, you can then make a short list of each role you’ve chosen and begin to dig deeper into the route you need to take to secure employment.

4. Gain the relevant skills, qualifications and experience

Keep in mind that when undertaking a new career, you may not be able to jump straight into employment. Depending on your current ability and experience, you may need to retrain and complete new qualifications, or alternatively you may need to complete a voluntary placement to ensure you enjoy the role before committing.

To understand the required skills, experience or qualifications you can look through current job vacancies and view the job specification. This will indicate what the employer is expecting from candidates who apply. You can also refer to the Job Profiles section of NCS and view the recommended training, experience or skills sections.

If you’ve chosen a career choice that requires new training, keep in mind that an apprenticeship may be a good option! Apprenticeships can be completed at any age, and employers are recruiting all year round so you won’t need to wait for the new academic year. Apprenticeships are also considered a great fit for people who want a career change, without losing out on a salary. To explore apprenticeship opportunities, visit:

5. Go for it!

Once you have decided on a new career path, extensively research job roles, and planned your route to securing employment - GO FOR IT!

The hardest thing to do in this situation is to leave the previous job and security that if offered. A lot of people get comfortable with their old jobs because they are familiar with the role, their colleagues and the regular income. If you’re feeling like it is hard to let go, make sure you’re considering your overall happiness and job satisfaction, and keep reminding yourself of what you could achieve if you were to take a risk!