how to make a career change

How to Effectively Make a Successful Career Change

Considering a career change midlife can be scary. It’s a daunting experience to leave a world you’re familiar with and head out into unknown territory.

But it’s also something that is becoming more and more common. Surveys show that nearly half of working women in the UK are not happy with their jobs, the most common reasons are:

  • Being bored or tired of the monotony.
  • Want a change in scenery.
  • Desire to put their skills and talents to better use.
  • Feel stuck in a dead end job or a dying industry.
  • Looking for a way to live better in hard times.

Regardless of your personal reasons for wanting a career change making the leap can be risky so it is important to do it right.

Here are five tips on how to make a successful career change:

1. Take your time

Don’t be impulsive, or you may regret it later. Too many people suddenly get fed up with their boss or co-workers one day and quit on the spot, only to end up broke, without a job and no prospects in sight. You don’t want that. A successful career change requires you to carefully plan a strategy that is going to work – and then to execute it.

2. Know what you dislike

Get in touch with what you don’t like about your current job or career path. We often hide what we really want behind what we dislike about our current situation. Once you ask yourself the awkward questions about what you dislike in your job, you are already ruling out what you don’t want to do in your next career.

Then you will also be able to identify the parts of your current career that you don’t mind taking with you.  Be it the hours, the interaction with people, the environment you work in or the responsibility.

3. Appreciate your skills and talents

What are you good at? What kinds of things just come naturally to you? So many people are stuck in jobs they hate, yet have amazing skills and talents that are not being put to good use.

Become aware of these skills and talents. For example, are you good with people, computers, organisation, communication, teaching or helping others? Maybe there’s a new career for you in one of these skills or talents.

4. Identify your skills and don’t be afraid to try

The likelihood is that when you took on your first career you didn’t know what you wanted, or like so many it was the first job you fell into. Once you get to know yourself, your likes and dislikes, skills and talents, start looking at jobs and careers that fit your personality.

There are many ways to find out about different work opportunities. You can attend job fairs, surf the internet or talk to friends and strangers who work in careers you might find interesting.  But the best way to explore a new career is to work part-time or as a volunteer for someone. It would be a win/win situation for both you and the employer. You’d get the experience you need to make a qualified career choice and the employer would get help in building his or her business.

5. Get Yourself Trained

Changing careers often requires new knowledge. It’s not uncommon to have to update your skills and qualifications. This could take time and cost money.

If you’re planning to change jobs but not employers, your current boss may offer to on-the-job training or even help pay for courses. If you need to go back to school for a degree or certification, make sure the school you choose is accredited.  Distance learning through companies such as adult learning colleges can provide you with a flexible learning environment so you can study whilst still maintaining your current job.


You can find more information on flexible learning at

Bio: Pitman Training is the UK’s leading Distance Learning College specializing in professional services.


4 Responses to How to Effectively Make a Successful Career Change

  1. Sometimes, the hardest part about changing careers is that it can often be a part of other, deeper personal change. The daily grind can be manageable when everything else in your life is hunky-dory. But when the other parts of your life seem to be falling apart, that 8 hours of drudgery can become damn near intolerable.

    This is why people sometimes quit on the spot out of frustration. They just can’t take it anymore.

    So it’s important for those undergoing deep personal change to understand the heart of what’s going on. When you know the root causes of your unhappiness, it becomes easier to match your career to your personality.

    But you’ll need to sort out your personality first.


  2. Aaron Morton says:

    I subscribe to more the Gary Vaynerchuk philosophy. Stay in your job, set up the other career on the side (at first this can mean the educating of yourself) then when you start making money begin the transition. At first it will feel like 2 jobs but its better than switching careers without a solid foundation to land on.


  3. I’d add a step number 6 – CREATE your own line of work. Less conventional than these other steps but has the potential to be more satisfying than working for somebody else. Never limit yourself to what’s on offer in the current job market. Ways and means of making money are being created all the time.
    But definitely agree with point number 1 – this is not something to be jumped into  – does require planning and still working for a monthly pay cheque while in the process.

  4. Another great way to do a career change is to turn a hobby into a full time job. You already have sufficient knowledge about it plus you will enjoy doing it as well. Given that the hobby yields good income too.

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