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Planning a Career Change

Planning a career change can be a daunting, but very rewarding, decision

There comes a time in most people’s life where the work they are doing no longer satisfies everything they need from a job. It could be that they have reached the top of the ladder but still find they are not enjoying the work, or that now they are at the top there is nowhere else for them to go and so no challenges. It could also be that although they like the work, there are problems with co-workers or it is too long a commute or there is some other reason why this career is not working for them anymore. At this time it may be time to consider either a change of job to one that has better prospects or even a complete change of career altogether.

When is it time to change career?

Changing your career or even your current job can be a scary and confusing thing. Sometimes even if you are not happy with your current employment it feels like at least it is better the devil you know. If this is the case, rather than think of a complete new career change, it might be a good idea to first try out something slightly different but within either the same organisation or a similar organisation. If you can also change roles you might find that your enthusiasm for your work is rekindled, without the risks of starting again from scratch.

If you are just completely fed up with the work you do however, then it might be time to look into your entire career path and see if you can find something you do want to do either on this path or on a completely different one. One of the first questions it is worth asking yourself is how long have you been unhappy with your job? Is it a relatively new feeling and if so has there been some kind of contributing factor that has changed to prompt this feeling? Is there a new work colleague that you do not get along with? Are you bored with what you are doing, or have you moved and are now finding the commute too much to cope with?

All of these factors could have a potentially different impact upon whether you actually change your career completely or if you find a different solution to the problem. For example if it is a work colleague you do not get along with, it may be worth having a quiet word with your employer and finding out if you can be moved to a different department or even just a different working area. If there is some kind of bullying or harassment going on you need to inform your employer, however much that may go against the grain. It could be that other people have also complained, or even that the bullying is happening to someone else who is too scared to complain. Most employers would rather be aware of this kind of problem and deal with the member of staff in question than risk losing other valuable staff members because of them.

If you are finding yourself bored, it could be that you need a new challenge and again talking to your employer and explaining the situation could have positive results. Your employer might be able to find you different and more challenging work to do, or even transfer you to a different department of your employment to try something new. If they do not wish to lose you and realise that this boredom could lead to that, they should be keen to find a solution to make you satisfied with your work again.

With the commuting problem you could find out if there is another branch of the company that is nearer to where you live and request a transfer, or if there is a similar company that is nearer that could employ you. All of these solutions are slightly less drastic than completely ending this career and trying something new could be just what you need to rekindle your enthusiasm.

Complete Career Changes

If you are at a stage in your life however, where small changes like those mentioned above will not be enough to make you happy with your career you need to think about something more drastic.

If you have spent a long time in this career though, it may be difficult to start a whole new career without some training. You could contemplate remaining in this career but starting classes to train in a new career. When looking at a change of career it important to find one that you will be happy in, so you need to take a close look at your current career and find out what is good about it and what is bad so you can see where you will best fit in.

First you need to examine the things that you are good at and like doing either in your current career or in your personal life. It could be that you have a hobby or interest that you could get a career in so examining your current life is a great place to start. You also need to work out what you are bad at or really do not like about your current career. There is no point going for another career if you are only going to end up hating that as well.

A good example of this is for someone that works in a busy office as administrator. They like admin work in general, but do not like the noise of the office and find it very stressful. In their off time they are a keen photographer and have taken classes to improve that skill. If they are good at writing it is possible they could become a photo-journalist, either employed by a magazine or similar company or self-employed. Here they get to do their hobby, their skills at admin will stand them in good stead and they do not have to work in a busy office full of people, at least not all of the time.

Whatever career/hobbies you have you will be able to find something that you are both good at and really enjoy so have a good look at all your plus and minus points and come up with a career plan. If you have to continue in the original employment while you train for a new one, it is a necessary sacrifice in the larger scheme of things.

Help and Advice

Planning a change of career is much the same as trying to start out from the beginning, so getting good advice will be very useful. The National Careers Service has offices all over the country, telephone lines for advice that can call you back and copious internet services. You can get in touch with them by calling 0800 100900 or find them online at The National Careers Service. When you telephone them you can organise an appointment to go into an office for a full careers advice session, discuss your needs over the telephone there and then or ask them to ring you for a telephone appointment at a time to your mutual convenience.