A Complete Guide to Changing Careers


Some people will dream about changing careers for decades without ever acting on this urge. For some, the prospect of quitting their job is terrifying; for others, they simply don’t know where to get started when it comes to forging a new career path. Changing careers can be a very daunting prospect, but with the right help and guidance, it can become a realistic, achievable, and actionable goal.

Is it The Right Time to Change Careers?

The first question you are likely to have when thinking of changing careers is ‘is it the right time?’ It can be very difficult to determine whether it’s the right time to change careers; after all, it will be a huge lifestyle change that will impact your daily life in countless different ways. Ultimately, only you can decide if it is the right time to change careers. However, this does not mean you have to go through the decision process alone. The points below have been designed to help you determine whether it is the right time for you to change careers.

Signs You Should Change Career

The list below outlines some signs to watch out for, as they signal it might be time you think about changing your career.

You are Suffering High Levels of Stress

Many people come to believe that stress is a natural part of working and that every profession will cause stress, but this need not be the case. If you are experiencing high levels of sustained stress, it might be an indication that it is time to change careers. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which can have several negative effects on your physical and mental health. Instead of suffering stress in silence, you might want to start thinking about changing your career path.

You Find Your Work Uninteresting

If you have noticed that you find your work boring or uninteresting, it might be a sign that you need a change of career. Perhaps you feel your work doesn’t challenge you, or you are no longer interested in the day-to-day duties of your role. You should take some time for introspection; can you go about your day in a more interesting way? Would you find your work more interesting if you took on a slightly different role? If you are answered no to these two questions, you will likely benefit from a change of careers. After all, life is too short to spend your time doing something that doesn’t interest you.

Your Mental or Physical Health is Suffering

The job that you do can take a real toll on your physical health or mental wellbeing. You should pay attention to how you feel in both your mind and body. If you believe that your work is negatively affecting your mental or physical health, then you might want to think very seriously about changing careers.

You Could Capitalize on Your Passion Project

If you have a hobby or side-hustle that you love doing, you might want to consider the possibility of taking on this passion full time. Before taking on your project full time, you will need to sit down and seriously consider if you can sustain yourself on the income you make from your passion project. You might want to keep working for a bit while you get your passion project up, running, and making money before you take it on full time.

What to Consider Before Changing Careers

Once you have identified the signs that it is the time right for you to change your career, there are a few more things that you will need to consider before jumping straight into your new lifestyle. Factors to consider before changing careers include:

Financial Considerations

Changing careers can have a big financial impact, so you must take the time to research your projected earnings. You should try to come up with a realistic figure of your projected earnings in your new career to ensure that you will be able to continue with all necessary payments, such as mortgages or car payments.

How will a Career Change Affect Your Family?

Often a career change will not only affect you but your family too. This is especially true if your new job will require lifestyle changes. Maybe you will be required to move to another area or work very different hours. It is worth taking the time to consider how a career change will affect those around you and discussing the change with your partner.

How to Change Careers

Once you have decided that it is the right time for you to change careers, it is time to start getting to work. The specific way you get started in a new career will depend upon the new job you are after. The list below outlines some of the best ways to get started in your new career.

Go Back to School

Some new career paths will require you to receive formal education and training. When people hear the phrase, go back to school, their hearts will usually sink to the pits of their stomachs. The idea of going back to school seems expensive and hugely time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you want to become a nurse, that does not mean that school will have to take over your whole life. You could take one of the many online accelerated BSN programs which would allow you to study from home, saving money on accommodation and travel.

Start Networking

If your new career path does not require you to gain formal training, you should get right into forging professional relationships. It would help if you didn’t bank on sending off applications to get the jobs you’re after. Get out and start making professional contacts. You can do this through networking groups, industry events, friends, family, or even LinkedIn.

Apply Carefully

Many people assume that the best way to get a new job is to apply for as many places as possible. Applying for lots and lots of jobs often means that you have less time to focus on specifics. Since you will likely have little relevant industry experience, you must show your passion and willingness to learn in an interview. Take the time to research the company when you are applying to ensure that you show yourself in the very best light possible.


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