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Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

Is it time for a career change? A short guide

6 min read
Is it time for a career change? A short guide
There are many reasons why you might want to make a career change. Regardless of age and skill, this short guide will take you through the questions to ask yourself when considering a career change and what to do next. Don’t panic — we’re here to help!

If you’re one of the five adults in the UK that would like to make a career change, you might have a whole collection of doubts holding you back. You could be concerned about your skills, your age, or simply lacking in confidence.

This guide will help you to identify the issues you’re facing at work, whether it’s time for a career change, and how to proceed if it is. In this blog post we will cover:

  • How to decide if it’s time for a career change
  • Considering market trends and personal career change motivations
  • How to strategise your career change
  • How to change careers with little to no experience.

How to decide: Is it time for a career change?

Deciding whether it's time for a career change can be a daunting and life-altering decision. For many individuals, the pressure and expectations associated with choosing a career early in life can lead to feelings of uncertainty and doubt. 

It's important to recognise that doubt is entirely normal when it comes to any area of your life. So, whether you’re considering whether this is the right career for you at all or simply whether it’s the right time to make a career change — no need to panic. There's no shame in seeking a career change at any stage of life.

Statistical insight

A study by Santander found that over 20% of adults surveyed would like to make a career change. Among the things holding them back were age and skills.

Is it a good time for a career change?

It’ll come as no surprise that the job market has changed significantly so far this decade. From the pandemic to the "great resignation", professionals around the world are facing shifting challenges and opportunities. So what does this mean in concrete terms if you’re looking to make a career change?

Factors such as trends within your industry, demand for specific skills, and evolving job roles should all be taken into consideration. Despite the uncertainties, times of change can present unique openings for career growth and fulfilment.

Expert tip

Shifting needs

When strategising a career change, try to think carefully about the way the world is changing. While we can’t see into the future, we can look to trusted resources like the UK government’s Department for Business & Trade and LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Reports in order to make some informed estimates.

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

Don’t forget that picking the right time for a career change will depend just as much on your personal situation. So how do you know when it’s time for a career change? Here are some signs to look out for:

  • You’re feeling bored or unmotivated
  • You’re seeing no clear opportunities for career progression
  • Your industry or organisation is struggling
  • You’re feeling overworked or that you skills are underutilised

How to make a career change

If you have decided that beyond the demands of your current role, you’re simply not aligned with the career that you’re currently in, congratulate yourself. It’s not easy to admit that something isn’t working. The good news is that you’re not the first person to pivot and make a career change.

Here are some top tips on strategising your career change:

  • Take time to consider which direction you want to take your career in next
  • Consider how you can lean into your transferable skills to get started in your new career path
  • Revamp your LinkedIn, CV, and cover letter in line with your professional rebrand
  • Tap into your personal and professional network to let them know about your career change
  • Start applying for opportunities that align with your new path
Expert tip

How to pick a career where you can thrive

In addition to asking what you like to do and how your skills can be applicable in another industry or role, think about which jobs will be in demand moving forwards.

Consider which industries and sectors are currently growing. Pursuing a career in a thriving industry can provide a sense of security and job stability, as well as opportunities for advancement and professional development.

How to make a career change with little or no experience

The beauty of changing careers is that you can bring a different perspective to a new domain. If you are at the start of your career, you’ll have an advantage over other junior peers thanks to having some professional experience under your belt. However, if you’re a seasoned professional, the key is finding the work environment that sees your existing experience as an asset.

Make sure that you’re leveraging any existing professional experience you do have in the right way. Consider how you can position your CV and cover letter to position any existing experience in a way that works for your new venture.

Key takeaways

  1. Consider carefully whether it’s truly time to make a career change
  2. Leverage your network and your transferable skills to help you to shift industries or sectors
  3. It’s never too late to undertake a career change — but consider the future of different industries to make an informed and strategic decision!
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