Changing Career Paths – 6 Ways To Start

Considering a career change? This article explores all the important things you need to be considering.

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Change and development through life is normal. Change can happen over and over again, within both our personal and professional lives. Look, we get it, change can be scary, and sometimes risky, but it is something to embrace because it can be pretty awesome. If nothing else, the ability to adapt to change is, in itself, a super skill to develop and possess.

Since the pandemic, there has been a record number of job opportunities and applicants for those roles. As people have recovered from the pandemic, they have been granted and gained clarity over their professional goals. Many have decided to take a leap into the unknown and completely change their career path.

Although it can seem daunting to step into the unknown, think about all the possible opportunities it could bring. You aren’t necessarily destined to stay in the same industry forever! So, if you are thinking of changing your career path but don’t know where to start – here are some important things to consider:

1 – Ask Yourself ‘Why’ You Want a Change
It’s important to evaluate your current role and what specifically you want to change, such as responsibilities or culture. It is also worth considering what you like about the role or organisation and is important to you in future positions, such as culture, benefits, or responsibilities. A list of pros and cons is a good start. You can also start looking into things you enjoy doing, any hobbies or interests that you can develop into a career and potentially start your own business.

2 – Assess Your Skills and Talents
Even if you are sure of which industry you would like to move into, it is important to assess your own skills and experience and how they can be transferred into a new career. Be objective, but fair! You can always ask for an outside opinion, friends, or family, or even colleagues (you don’t need to reveal any plans). Be aware of the skills you enjoy using also, and ones you perhaps you would prefer to not need in future! The Open University has a wide range of free courses available across a variety of fields, each with different hours of commitment expected, so you can work on new skills in your own time and with no extra cost.

3 – Explore, Explore, Explore
If you aren’t sure of what industry you would like to move into, shop around! Start with what you enjoy doing, and where your interests lie outside of your professional life. Is there something you are interested in that you can move into? LinkedIn would be a great start to investigate available roles and companies in your area. After assessing your own skills, and things you enjoy, you should have a good idea of your transferable skills and preferences in a new field.

4 – Arrange Work Experience and Conduct Research
If you can arrange time to learn from someone within the industry you are interested in, it will give an opportunity to ask questions and get some experience, alongside a feel for how the role and industry works. When moving to a completely different industry can be daunting, and having some experience and knowledge beforehand will not only help you make an informed decision about your move, it will also show potential employers that you have invested time in the change.

5 – Be Prepared. We Repeat. Be Prepared.
Entering into a new industry or organisation with little to no experience may mean you will have to make sacrifices. These could be in the form of reduced pay, job title and/or responsibilities. It is important to consider what this means for you, and if you are happy to make these sacrifices for long term benefits. If you are jumping to an entirely new industry, you will have a lot of learning to do, and you need to be prepared that this will take time and potentially starting in a lower job level and working your way up.

6 – Find a Mentor (Obviously!)

A mentor is someone who can guide you and give an outsider’s perspective, as you look to make a professional change. Not only will they offer support and guidance, but they can also help you learn new skills and enhance those you already have. Finding a mentor within the field you are interested in especially; they can give you invaluable advice in preparation! Joining PushFar’s open network is free of charge, with over 75,000 users globally – you can network with professionals across thousands of industries.

There’s never a right or wrong time to start a new career or change career paths. Simply focus on what you want from a new role, and how you can make your working world work for you.

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